This is an installation of six iPads where software powered by Gamika technologies creates, plays, critiques, selects, and shares abstract artistic games. It happily makes games all day long, unless a visitor touches one of the screens, in which case the game being made is destroyed forever. Exposing and challenging long-standing but highly topical issues of machines taking jobs and posing existential threats, I Create, You Destroy, is an Artificial Intelligence system, but it is not the bad guy here.
@ThoseMetaMakers have chosen a very sober and minimalist mise en scene for their first installation as an art collective. I Create, You Destroy aims to challenge mainstream assumptions about AI being a threat. Moreover, the beauty of the piece resides in the balance produced by using a mainstream support (iPad) and a mainstream platform (casual games) to challenge the mainstream assumption. The AI hides behind the bold, sharp and colourful surface of six iPads perfectly aligned and fixed to the white background wall. White cases, white background only the playful images of Gamika stand out. The small balls are moving fast, appearing from everywhere, going anywhere. New games come to life, live, directly in front of visitors standing there with a choice to make: either merely, watch or act, interact and then, themselves become the threat. Is that an odd choice for a human being? Maybe not.
Breaking the assumption and questioning what we are expected to do, that’s the core of I Create You Destroy, in front of a tablet we are meant to touch, in front of a game we are supposed to play. However, this is not what we should do, in moral terms we will be harmful if we fulfil the expectations.
One important aspect of the installation, where I Create, You Destroy meets Ian Gouldstone’s Cruise Control 2020 and Oliver Sutherland’s Untitled (Loosing it), also presented at the exhibition, is the idea of the continual moving image. When the creative process is happening right there, the spectator is not merely watching a pre-recorded movie. What is going on will never occur again. We could consider this uniqueness one of the holy quests of contemporary art. Since we lost the unique nature of the artefact, we seek the exceptional character of the experience. Games technologies and AI are enabling the rise of a new hybrid art form between installation and performance with something sculptural and cinematographic about it.
What does it mean in Sutherland’s work, this notion of a continuum of an image? We might find some answers in front of Cruise Control 2020, and I Create You Destroy. This picture, this movie and those games as framed in the exhibition, should be seen as a continuum. Even if we are unsure about their nature, if this is a film, or an image or a game or the three things at the same time, the starting point is that they are all made with the same materials that games are. A continuum moving image is closer to real life because we are assisting to the birth of it, no filters, no curation no past or future just a moment of pure creation by procuration.