New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future
We live in times of increasing inscrutability. Our news feeds are filled with unverified, unverifiable speculation, much of it automatically generated by anonymous software. As a result, we no longer understand what is happening around us. Underlying all of these trends is a single idea: the belief that quantitative data can provide a coherent model of the world, and the efficacy of computable information to provide us with ways of acting within it. Yet the sheer volume of information available to us today reveals less than we hope. Rather, it heralds a new Dark Age: a world of ever-increasing incomprehension.
In his brilliant new work, James Bridle offers us a warning against the future in which the contemporary promise of a new technologically assisted Enlightenment may just deliver its opposite: an age of complex uncertainty, predictive algorithms, surveillance and the hollowing out of empathy. Surveying the history of art, technology and information systems he reveals the dark clouds that gather over discussions of the digital sublime.
“New Dark Age is among the most unsettling and illuminating books I’ve read about the Internet, which is to say that it is among the most unsettling and illuminating books I’ve read about contemporary life.”
– Mark O'Connell, The New Yorker
The book presentation will be followed by the James Bridle: My Delight on a Shining Night exhibition opening, Aksioma Project Space, 20 February — 22 March 2019. Opening on 20 February at 7 p.m.
James Bridle is an artist and writer working across technologies and disciplines. His artworks and installations have been exhibited in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, and have been viewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors online. He has been commissioned by organisations including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Barbican, Artangel, the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the Istanbul Design Biennial, and been honoured by Ars Electronica, the Japan Media Arts Festival, and the Design Museum, London. His writing on literature, culture and networks has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Frieze, Wired, Domus, Cabinet, the Atlantic, the New Statesman, and many others, in print and online, and he has written a regular column for the Observer. New Dark Age, his book about technology, knowledge, and the end of the future,was published by Verso (UK & US) in 2018. He lectures regularly on radio, at conferences, universities, and other events, including SXSW, Lift, the Global Art Forum, Re:Publica and TED. He has been a resident at Lighthouse, Brighton, the White Building, London, and Eyebeam, New York, and was an adjunct professor on the Interactive Telecommunications Programme at New York University. His work can be found at http://jamesbridle.com.
Production: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2018
Coproduction: Drugo more, Rijeka
Partner: Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana