Damjanski: Humans Not Invited - IRL
29. 4. – 31. 5. 2020
29 & 30 April 2020 | daily 12 - 6 pm | Bachstrasse 9, 8038 Zurich | outdoor, next to the gallery entrance
29 April - ∞ | online | http://www.humansnotinvited.com/
The installation Humans Not Invited - IRL is a physical manifestation of the permanently available online performance, Humans Not Invited (http://www.humansnotinvited.com/), which is a reversed CAPTCHA that filters out humans and is only accessible to bots. They are the only ones who can read the blurred images of the artworks and thus pass through the entrance portal of the website. The installation consists of a cordless mouse and a mouse pad, placed outside the entrance of the gallery space. On the front window, a back-projection displays the software interface in an enlarged format. In order to gain access to the gallery, visitors have to solve the CAPTCHA. However, the software is designed so that it's impossible to be solved by a human being, while instead decipherable by bots.
Health protection measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, adopted by governments on a global scale, have temporarily limited access to public spaces, confining human interactions on the web. With Humans Not Invited - IRL, Damjanski reconstructs the user's online identification experience in the physical space, however depriving him of the possibility of success. Facing the rapid progress of artificial intelligence in respect to the human individual's capabilities, the installation reveals the limits of human interactions even in the physical space, at a time when they themselves are being restricted by government-controlled mechanisms. In this way, the artist brings to light the normalization of both physical and virtual experience, carried out by a supervisory authority whose interior of the black box often remains, for most people, unknowable.