Our Friends Electric is an exhibition in QUAD Gallery featuring artists who explore a range of themes and ideas relating to robots, artificial intelligence (AI), online networks and synthetic biology to highlight our hopes and fears for a present and future increasingly shaped by technological advance.
There has been a glut of recent news reports that obsess with the idea of robots and AI replacing humans in the workplace. We fear apocalyptic scenarios of AI machines rebelling against us; yet advances in robotics, AI and synthetic biological research also point to a bright future free of disease, where we live longer and our lives are made easy.
The artists gathered together for Our Friends Electric draw inspiration from front-line scientific research, yet provide a creative – and emotive – understanding to the continuing moral and ethical questions that surround new and evolving technology. The exhibition features film works; robotic sculptures and automata, and prints/ drawings produced by robots/ AI ‘life-forms’.