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.
Amazon worker cage patent drawing as virtual King Island Brown Thornbill cage (US 9,280,157 B2: “System for transporting personnel within an active workspace,” 2016)
Simon Denny conceived the sculpture and collages here partly in response to a 2018 essay regarding the Echo, Amazon’s home-surveillance artificial intelligence system, cleverly marketed as the personal assistant Alexa. In their essay, “Anatomy of an AI System: The Amazon Echo as an Anatomical Map of Human Labour, Data and Planetary Resources,” Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler trace the extractive processes involved in the Echo’s production. They expose how its sleek design belies a trail of environmental disruption in its wake.