Theme Exhibition

The Chiromancer

Matthias Pitscher (DE), Giacomo Piazzi (IT)

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The devices we hold daily in the palm of our hands have become increasingly better at knowing us, anticipating our needs, and giving us answers. Their disembodied knowledge and inner workings all seem to reside within inscrutable, opaque black boxes we have learned to trust. Autonomous machines that know all guide our lives. In a world embedded with devices that ‘just work’, we have forgotten to ask ourselves what we are giving away and what we are internalizing at every interaction. The Chiromancer explores how trust, hopes and wishes are projected onto computers by automating the ancestral practice of future-telling. This machine is a palm-reading AI that writes predictions about a person’s life, substituting the figure of the clairvoyant with the power of information technology. Like many of the other devices we use every day, *The Chiromancer* collects, stores and extrapolates user data in order to provide an answer for the user to interpret.

Matthias Pitscher (DE), Giacomo Piazzi (IT): The Chiromancer is a collaborative entity that emerged from the research of Matthias Pitscher and Giacomo Piazzi at the Interface Cultures Department in Linz. Pitscher is exploring algorithmic cultures through performance, installations and net-based works. He focuses on the impact of computational thinking on society, specifically on how quantification and the extraction of large datasets from the web are forming new realities with unintended biases. In a world immersed in information technology and intelligent devices, Giacomo Piazzi tries to unveil how humans anthropomorphize objects and project meaning and agency onto computers by building his own artificially intelligent machines.


Partially financed by the project funding of the Student Union of Kunstuniversität Linz.