Onderdeel van Researchlabs 2018

Leiden University- The Ghost in the Machine

Het podium is vandaag aan een nieuwe lichting curatoren en kunstenaars. Studenten van acht kunstacademies en universiteiten stellen een programma samen met nieuw werk, remixes van films of korte historische avant-gardefilms uit de collectie van EYE. Leiden University presenteert The Ghost in the Machine.

In de Researchlabs presenteren studenten van acht opleidingen ieder een programma van een uur. Researchlabs geven ruimte aan het onverwachte en zijn vaak een kruisbestuiving met andere kunstvormen zoals performances of beeldende kunst. Researchlabs bieden ook de mogelijkheid om onderzoek te doen in EYE’s collectie en stimuleren zo de talentontwikkeling van een nieuwe lichting curatoren en kunstenaars. De voertaal is Engels.

The Ghost in The Machine - a cinematic understanding

The film program “The Ghost In The Machine” addresses various aspects relating to the impact of machines – and technology – on our societies and the way we live our lives. Initially used as a critique of the Cartesian mind/body dualism, it here serves as an allegory for the way in which this dualism has evolved over the past decades. This raises new questions about the place which certain mediums have in our lives and societies. ​The metaphor ov the ‘ghost’ as the mind and the ‘machine’ as the body is often invoked to indicate the divide between a mechanical concept of the body and the mind as the animating spirit of the lifeless machine. Nowadays, our minds are literally inhabiting machines, as our constant use of computers, social media etc. transfers our animated spirits into these new technological bodies. Our minds become displaced and a mental presence grows in new technological skins. Our constant use of these technologies transforms them into our new hosts. This relationship we have with machines is deeply dialectic, as we have a tendency to see our bodies as machines and machines as bodies. 

The choice and programming of the films is not chronological, as the exploration of our relation to machines is timeless. It gives us particularly relevant insights in today’s technologically-driven lives. For instance, the precursor of Skype as featured in ​Amour et Science (1912) forces us to confrontthis obsession with machines which still seemed so unfamiliar then, but is now a conventional part of our lives. The program explores an aspect of this dualistic and dialectic relation which we have vis à vis machines through allegories and clues. This program does not aim to provide any clear-cut answers but intends to invite discussion and reflection on this increasingly invasive and porous relationship.