Blessed is the Machine


An interactive installation that examines our relationship to datafication and artificial intelligence. Read more

Part of imaginary i at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Within the space, visitors are presented with the avatar of an always-listening artificial intelligence. By conversing with the AI, it infers the content, emotion, and expression of the visitor before sending this new data through a product recommendation algorithm. The process is visualized in the space through an instantaneous display of shifting information. The real-time data harvesting is manifested in a cacophony of screens flashing code, flip boards rattling out information, and printers spitting out a record into a growing pile of paper. Meanwhile, the avatar talks to the viewer about the social and political system that produces a reliance on—and the strange consequences that accompany—the seeming convenience of AI-powered services. Visitors can, nonetheless, take home a receipt that includes a personalized product recommendation, complete with a convenient QR code.

For more information and documentation, please see the project’s website.

Done in collaboration with Zachary Kaiser.