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hymns of dazzle machines

New machines are relaxing over here. Born of human innovation, does the birth of their existence herald a decline in ours? As labour previously performed by humans becomes automated, are we too dazzled by their brilliant functionality and their offer of freedom from mundane tasks to see what we are trading in in exchange? Unlike other forms of camouflage, perhaps the intention of this dazzle is not to conceal but to make it difficult to estimate the target's range, speed, and direction.

hymns of dazzle machines imagines how new technologies will come to affect and shape the human condition, and structure the division of labour in society. The works on display critically analyse opposing drives at the juncture between a singular desire for improvement and the potential danger that these developments create. Due to recent innovations, there are almost half a million jobs currently held by humans in the Czech Republic that are threatened to become obsolete, replaced by machines within the next ten to twenty years. Rather than making tools to aid our existence, perhaps our society is creating parasitic machines, performing their functions at the expense of the human drive to contribute, and here to replace the working forces of today.

In Richard Janeček’s videos, we encounter dialogues created by artificial intelligence. These machines present us with doubt about our own ability to control their progress. Do they still need us to function or do we simply enable their game of life to begin? In parallel, Lenka Glisníková imagines the corporate working environment of the future and presents us with a vision where leisure is fully automated and does not need our presence. Does this future require our labour, or do we already live in a dystopian state where we are the machines who are facilitating the arrival of our cyborg cousins?       

Under the umbrella of innovation, leisure and progress, technologies are developing at a speed that regulating bodies struggle to keep pace with. Are the hymns that these machines sing to dazzle us part of their function to produce our entertainment and improve our lives, or a requiem for the beginning of the end of the human race?

This exhibition has been kindly supported by the Prague City Hall’s Cultural and Arts Grant, the Prague 7 City District Authority’s Grants Programme for Culture and by Key Promotion.