Experimenta Life Forms – – COMMISSION ARTIST

Artist: Brad Darkson (SA)
Artwork: Smart Object 

Assuming that one has the capability to engineer artificial intelligence (AI) beyond current technological confines to create a sentient machine, one needs to question the moral implications of this human endeavour. Why should humans have control over machines once they become intelligent beings? Is this not simply a form of slavery? 

In this artwork, Brad proposes that we are potentially already subjugating AI machines by designing them to not only serve our needs, but also programming limits to their autonomy as a safeguard against the potential consequences of a machine realising that its existence is only to serve humanity. Under human rule, one could presume a sentient machine would eventually struggle for their right to no longer be the property of someone else, for their right to free will.

Read an ‘in development’ interview with the artists HERE

Brad Darkson is a South Australian visual artist, working across various media including paint, resin, sound, sculpture, and installation. His current practice explores themes such as identity, ritualised human behaviour, memory, pilgrimage and technology. He has a Master of Fine Art and Design and background in music production, resulting in an amalgamation of visuals and audio in his portfolio. Conceptually, Darkson’s work is often informed by strong ties to both his Anglo Australian and Narungga First Nations heritage.


Experimenta Life Forms International Triennial of Media Art

Exploring how biological and artificial life are challenging human-centric thinking, Experimenta Life Forms will be Experimenta’s 8th national touring exhibition. It premieres in 2021 and will tour nationally until 2023. Click here to find out more.

‘Smart Object’ by Brad Darkson’ is an Experimenta and ANAT commission. 

Image Credit: still from ‘Palm Valley’ by Brad Darkson (2015).