Interview with Francois Roche
Personal secretary of New-Territories _S/he
Beasts, Men & Bits / plan C ， [post-digital age’ Curiosity Cabinet] ， Liminal
What is the future for you?
Future is a word from the 60s, associated with social progress, emancipation, America’s standardization of consumerism, and scientific mysticism…as modernity is a word describing the 20s. Nobody uses modernity anymore to justify novelty, in the arrow of tomorrow…but the word “future” is abused religiously in order to mask the real time, and the situation of here and now. It’ s a pathology coming from Christianism, to dissociate the present and future, the servitude for the body and the mind in the garden of earthly delight and the liberation of souls in a post-world. In this way, we are stuck on the planet with social drama but also are flying freely in a heavenly place. ‘’The Future’’ with science is the secular version of evangelism with their proselytism and faith. As described by Marx, Capitalism in its foundation needed to strategically alternate periods of crisis (to re-concentrate the means of production as the GAFA are doing actually) and periods of optimism and positivism in order to caress the phantasm of emancipation, liberation, and freedom. All people talking about the future as the vector, the Judas of this intentional bipolarity, of this violence, of this domination… by schizophrenic agenda… fear and pleasure, as the grail of originally …any monotheism.
Should we suspect that digital “art” is meant to be used as a glamorous lure, a blue sleeping pill, to entertain those who produce it, just as turpentine intoxicates the painter, and, for its consumers, to help maintain their belief in the illusion of positivism, progress, and emancipation through science and novelty gadgets… Trapped in a post-science world without even knowing it, one is already described by Rabelais in the middle of the Quattrocento…
Should we suspect the apparent and direct opposites of these Mephistopheles, the regressive moralists and semiologists who turn their indignation into capital to recoup their 30 pieces of silver, using correct consciousness as a flagship, commoners and common goods as their willing victims promote “bottom-up” processes on the condition that they be the masters of ceremony. In their Prada suits, the intellectuals denounced by Chomsky safeguard the system, its means, meaning and authority, but nevertheless claim, by virtue of their indignation, the magnificence of their position, of their forgery…
Should we reveal that these two paradigms are simply the Janus faces of the same system, in a symmetrical convergence of interests and benefits? Could we develop a paradigm other than the interplay between the cynic and the clown?
It’ s more comfortable to refuge in a situation which has already been consumed, validated, merchandised in the post-capitalism strategy age.
Future doesn’t exist. It is vintage, even reactionary, using science in a 60s syndrome and mysticism, mainly in the pursuit of the tool used by religious propaganda to create the condition of the emergence of capitalistic Guru (Musk, Jobs, Gate, Zuckerberg…). They talk about a ‘’better world and an ideal future’’ to mask the private enterprise of profit, in the pure tradition and method of the ancient worlds, when GM motor was self-editing the fiction of the future(futurama), in the early 30ties… The model created it… as a business prediction to influence and magnetize the historical trajectory with multiplication of infrastructure, propaganda of individualism, fossil energy impact, etc. Where we are now has the destruction of the existing net-work of public transportation, the sprawling of the city, the disintegration of a collective responsibility and empathy to create a new far west, a libertarian society which is now revealing its real intention. Their Oval Room puppet is not a degenerated symptom, a disease of the system, but an incarnation, his mirror.
The progeniture of this Futurama Future is now able to predict the society with 5G, with sensor, with technoid gadget, with AI. As a stuttering of history, making the demonstration of a prospective reality paid through the MIT by the military industry in America. It aims to privatize human beings in the Futurama 2.0 with the control of the citizens and the global enterprise of survey, to influence habits, minds, and daily routine.
Pokemon Go is magnetically attracted by the MacDonald close to your position. And it is the predictable future created by those capitalist evangelists.
The next challenge for a merchandised society is to OWN the city (not to design it)…in terms of the exchanges, the relations, the transaction...both physically and immaterially. In the Google city, everything will be justified by optimal parameters, by the efficiency of the algorithms…produced and framed by a private economy, which needs the stranglehold on power and knowledge, for the perfect recipe of a city as concentration camp 2.0.
Could I remind you that the architect who designed Auschwitz-Birkenau was a progressive-productivist teacher from the Bauhaus? The real story of this school after the dismiss of Van de Veld is a pure historical rewriting and fiction. Mainly all teachers and members participated actively, with Neufert, Arndt, Bayer, Engemann, Gropius, Reich, even Mies…to the promotion of the Nazi regime and few of them to the final solution. So nothing could be done actually in architecture if we don't re-open the trash can and the lies of the 20th century… specifically coming from the progressive part.
To come back on our topic, it is an asymmetrical relationship between what the instrumental algorithm is able to impose ‘’its harmony to a society of citizens, and a society of citizens who are becoming the marketable merchandise data for the profit of a few of them - the ones who own the data (as the machines in the 21th century)”
City is planned to be privatized by technology…and architects are deeply involved in this top-down techno-fascism. I’m far away from being a regressive one, dreaming back to the cavern shadows and fire… New-Territories is one of the most advanced teams in cutting edge technology. But we never consider sciences as inoffensive or innocent….and we navigate from Analogue to Digital world with critical approaches and aims. To define an operative mode, we cannot avoid to infiltrate, as a workerism or ‘’operaismo’’ strategies, the vectors of transformation, AI, Robotic, deep learning, codes, as designer-hackers, to desalinate the way there are programmed and planned. This is to re-open the Pandora's box of the common good of the swarm intelligences and a social organization using technologies without being held hostage by them.
Do you think artificial intelligence will replace human beings?
We are not under the threat of replacement, but substitution. All the repetitive work will be substituted by AI and Robotic, which is influencing directly both the Knitting Bangladesh worker and the trader in the middle of the city in London. Goldman Sack employed 600 traders 10 years ago, and now the work is done by real time algorithms with 6 engineer-programmers.
This fear and paranoia abused by Elon Musk, the ‘’deep singularity’’ point(when Robot and Human are Siamese twins), helps him to open a university able to earn the elite with millions of USD to this point. A joke for “who wants to lose a million for the one who gets them’’. But in fact AI is extremely low-tech. Its work is to read data based on local recognition, on a large catalogue of pre-selected pictures. We are, as Turing demonstrated, at the antipode of this singularity point. This fear is hiding people like Elon Musk’s strategy of concentrating “power-resources-profit”.
We are living in a fictional story telling organized by capitalism, making the world an illusion of this intention, to create a feeling of resemblance to legitimate such fiction and mask its real intention. Science today is the main vector of this fiction.
For example, to alternate face recognition, you can put on a wig with make-up, put on a Tshirt with another face…but please do not buy the glasses with infra-red done by the people who created the face recognition algorithm - it is just a loop of merchandising.
What will be the function of human beings in the future?
To survive and escape from this Faustian fiction of augmented reality.
The assembly line of Fordism has now become the line of predicted human behavior to organize the capitalism of survey and control, and is influencing attitude, mind, and habitude. We are not citizens any more but consumers, disarmed in this new authority which monitors your child's nursery, the pipes of your house, the appointments of the week, your health care. It drives you to be and act according to the logic of private profit in a new spoken language…
Surveillance in capitalism is capturing the human experience as the raw material in order to moneye them in the form of behavioral predictions...
From originally a simple click rate of Google, to the discovery of the same firm engineers in early 2000, about the ‘’Carole Brady’’ episode / at ‘’who wants to be millionaire’’, where the retransmission of the TV show was spreading its program through the different local time zone of USA, showing the gap, the delay between the Browser researching on ‘’Carole Brady’’’s maiden name and the strata of information received from Hawaii to the East Coast, making it possible to interfere the real time and the predicted time. The notion of ‘influencers’ was born at this period and the business plan of Google too.
How to coordinate a society where human beings and robots coexist?
The golem is a creation of the middle age. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was published in 1818. So....it’s not so new to imagine/fabricate/dream of replication of human beings with ‘superpower’. And robots are mechanics, a very XIX century technology in the way they are articulated with gears and transmission. On the contrary, the algorithm, the Bot is more to the point. It produces a concentration of power, control, and resources, and impacts reality (Cambridge Analytica).
The expertise and control of tooling, Technic and Sciences, as computation-Robotic, as AI-deep learning is actually the main mode to maintain and reproduce the structures of power.
So we need to inject rules in this new business jungle to protect the fragility of human beings, and to accept his fragility, procrastination, weakness, subjective escape and courage...
The war between Post Human and Robot is a lure, to maintain the ideology of fear. Christianism is not so far... again.
The second and more important impact is how technology participate actively in the productivism ideology of design and industry (even the green washing one), but this modele of society is EXPIRED... even with photovoltaique on roof and electric Battery of Tesla (done by fossil power plant).
So the question should be: what is the feasibility of deGrowth, the “HOW DARE YOU”? To Greta Grunberg, the impossible reduction of Co2 is able to renegociate our model of society(or social organisation), our need of discovery and trespassing. How are those obstacles and constraints able to shift technoid sciences in other dimensions than its predator, destructive pathology, and impacts?