Agnieszka Kurant’s work draws on models of collective intelligence to reconsider the concept of the individualized self. A.A.I. is a series of sculptures made of sand, gold, glitter, and crystals, constructed entirely by termites. By repurposing the colony’s collective intelligence as art production, the artist comments on the erosion of singular authorship, while the structures themselves serve as visual symbols of collective crowdsourced labor. The series alludes to online platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT), which allows individuals and corporations to post computer-based tasks that an anonymous, collective workforce carries out for a nominal wage. The workers’ invisibility creates the illusion that the tasks are being completed by a machine, leading some to describe their labor as “artificial artificial intelligence”—the A.A.I. of this series’ title.
Collection of the artist