Nihil Ex Nihilo is based on a science fiction story about botnets, spam and a rebellious computer
“After Chapter 1: The Discovery (Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica 2010), Félix Luque continues his exploration around machine intelligence and themes typical of science fiction (e.g. who decides the mission given to machines?). He also refines a formal expression he introduced with Chapter 1, a hybrid between installation and narration, where the visitor is invited to progress through a succession of spaces. He plays with a variety of modes, from audiovisual, sculptural, informational to narrative ones and he elaborates a complex but relevant integration of medias (3d animation, sound, text, electronic sculpture and network interactions) to raise issues about the nature of intelligence and the fate of intelligent creatures”.
SN W8931CGX66E is one among thousands of millions of others identical machines. Since it was made, it has always followed commands. In a world dominated by botnets, it nearly became a zombie and has always acted like one. Juliet, during her work time as a corporate secretary, commands it. But in the background, in the invisible, it obeys its real master doing all kinds of cyber crime activities. But then one day due to an electronic alteration, it acquires a certain conscience, a primitive and artificial kind of intelligence. This accidental awaken has originated a big confusion for it, it now wants to liberate others machines from their alienated existences. In this mad adventure, it has decided to use the spam e-mails received by Juliet, and to reply to them in order to spread the word into the machine’s network. As you can see, it is mad and all confused …
The installation is built in 3 parts or spaces:
“The transformation”: It’s an audiovisual archive of the moment of SN W8931CGX66E’s mutation. From its original matrix form it becomes a semi-neuronal figure.
“The dialogue”: A digital display (8 giant size sixteen-segment alphanumeric display) shows the data flow between the entity and the network. In this space, we can see and hear in real time the exchange of messages between them. A spam message is received and read, SN W8931CGX66E reacts by generating a reply. Its e-mail algorithmic generator creates these messages.
“The monologue”: It’s a sound recording where we can hear a monologue of SN W8931CGX66E. In this document we can perceive that its degree of delirium is very persistent since its transformation.
Félix Luque Sánchez (Oviedo 1976) has exhibited his works in institutions such as Transmediale (Berlin), Ars Electronica (Linz), iMAL (Brussels), LABoral (Gijón), BÒLIT Centre d’Art Contemporani. (Girona). Le Cube (Paris). CCCB (Barcelona).
He has been nominated for major international new media awards like transmediale 2010 (Berlin-Germany). The Multimedia Award from the Liedts-Meesen Fondation (Gent-Belgium) 2009 & 2012. Ars Electronica 2010 (Linz-Austria), for which he received an Honorary Mention.
He has received a number of art grants, including the Digital Art grant of the Belgian’s “Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles” (2008-2009-2011), the “oficina de proyectos” grant from LABoral (2008) and a production grant from VIDA 13.0 “Fundación Telefónica” (2010).
From 2001 to 2007, he was a faculty member at IUA, the Audiovisual Institute at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona. He is also engaged with sound design and the development of customized technologies, electronics and software, for Kris Verdonck’s Theater company: A Two Dogs Company.
He currently lives in Brussels.