“Apes are our closest relatives and are commonly seen as a symbol of our evolution”. Proceeding from this assumption, the work investigates the benefits and dilemmas that the new digital evolution brings to our society by navigating through the topics of cybersecurity, data consumption, surveillance capitalism, behavior modification and energy demands. We human beings have made great progress in inventing smart systems that are supposed to think and design a better future. Are we, as a society, ready to act as intelligently as the machines we have created? Can the new digital evolution guide us towards a respectful and sustainable cohabitation with our fellow humans, the planet and other species? APES is a collection of kinetic sound sculptures made with recycled WI-FI antennas. They are driven by algorithms showing dynamic counters of data consumption and cyber-attacks; everything from Facebook likes and Google searches to cyber-attacks happening in real time.
The APES move with predictive patterns dictated by the various names appearing on the screens. These motions are accompanied by sonic events produced by an AI program trained to deep fake the calls of real apes and by evolving soundscapes generated by a granular synthesizer driven by the data flows. The artwork also exhibits interviews collected during the research with scientists and experts associated with the project.
Software programming Marco Accardi / Anecoica Studio; Assistant Design Xueqi Huangfu; deep fake research and production Lea Schönherr, Joel Frank; cyber-attacks API implementation Endres Puschner; digital wellbeing, inputs Asia Biega; technical advisor Benjamin Maus
Funded by “CASA – Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries” (EXC 2092) and BBK-Projektbüro NEUSTART
Supported by Pina, Izis Festival, Ars Electronica, Loop Space Seoul
Marco Barotti (IT/DE)
Marco Barotti is a media artist based in Berlin. His installations merge audio technology, consumer objects, natural materials and waste into data-driven, kinetic sound sculptures. The primary focus of his work is to create a fictional post-futurist scenario, a kind of “tech ecosystem” that plays with resemblances to animals and plants. These artworks serve as a metaphor for the anthropogenic impact on the planet and aim to make people more aware of environmental and social issues.