Catalonia Pavilion, Venice Biennale

If today Raymond Williams were to decide on more entries for his celebrated text,Keywords, he surely would include, “Singularity”. The term refers to the moment when artificial intelligences will surpass human capacity and human control. In mathematics, singularity describes a point at which a given mathematical object is not defined or “well-behaved”, for example, infinite or not differentiable. Filmmaker Albert Serra will take this notion as a point of departure in his next film. Interested in how images act in diverse contexts, the project presents the audience with a filmic space investigating the range of “applications” the notion of singularity has. It designates a turning point in the way in which we relate to information, to “matter”, to images produced by machines, to representation, to the interplay between culture and nature. It actually names a new era where these dualisms are no longer contemporary. A machine-made cosmology, a capital of knowledge capable of altering our dreams, the image we have and will have about the world.

Albert Serra’s movie is broken down into several perspectives—ways of seeing, ways of narrating the world. His cinema makes the statement that being aware of the world is not simply a result of the mind’s existence, but rather it is the mind in action. Intellect is not an eye that observes us from some vague place within, but rather, the very fact of thinking. To link cinema with the singularity condition means to foster belief in the notion that thought, will and imagination are not made of the same substance as the world, objects and things, but of images, feelings and ideas. Nothing can happen beyond what is real, and what is real can only be grasped through language. This implies a revolution: since we cannot expect to find correlations between the world of ideas and the world of matter, our questions cannot hope to find answers, but rather to become sense-making operations. Like untangling a knot, solving a problem involves changing the order of what is known.

The exhibition is a site that offers both the artist and the curator an opportunity to address this question: how does the cinema-machine create a mind?

Albert Serra: Singularity
09.05.2015 – 22.11.2015

Catalonia Pavilion
Venice Biennale
Venice, Italy