Inner School of Open Studies

by Protey Temen

A) Contents

B) Exhibitions

C) About

“The graphics, objects, videos, and multimedia installation in the exhibition are part of a larger project, The Inner School of Open Research, within which the artist explores the subtle connections and intersections between science, the contingency of the moment, and the poetry of everyday life.

Protey Temen’s practices can be described as a visual anticipation of a world that has understood itself anew in the wake of massive info social change. The artist interacts with the general infosocial field as a conductor, receiver, and recorder of events that have not yet been named and fully incorporated into the classical picture of representations of reality. Proteus deliberately avoids naming precisely the processes he depicts. The necessary terminology does not yet exist – these phenomena have not yet occurred or will not occur at all.

In a few decades, the amount of “artificial” information will exceed the amount of biological information. That is, there will be more data created by humans and algorithms than all the data encoded in the DNA of biological life forms. This transition will likely determine the development of new kinds of sciences, ways of understanding and interacting with the world. Information will become an essential variable for describing the laws of how the visible universe works, on a par with matter and energy. Not only our approach to information exchange, but also the way we think and communicate with each other will change dramatically.

Some scientists are already urging the scientific community to see cognition as a collective socio-cognitive process. We cannot figure out exactly how our brains work or create a truly sophisticated AI, because we focus on the individual mind. Whereas consciousness, given a superstructure of information technology hypergrids, functions as a collective phenomenon. Algorithms play a major role in reassembling the architecture of shared knowledge institutions. The distribution and retrieval of information is almost entirely dehumanised. Which ideas receive attention, and therefore development, is often determined by search engines rather than by direct human recommendations. Algorithms have thus, unnoticed by many, acquired an agency of their own and are changing the picture of the world as much as the conscious choices or aspirations of humanity.

Within the Proteus Temen project, all these sweeping changes took place long ago and their consequences have become the norm. We see the specter of a future that is not yet here, but likely. The first room of the exhibition is a workroom from science’s “past” (that is, our present), the archaic cradle of the mind of a scientist who does not know where he is going but feels a profound need to move. We, the onlookers, look at this cabinet with the eyes of a new-age man, as a cabinet of rarities, recreated from a fragmentary knowledge of the history of science. The chalkboard here is something between a living creature and a fossil, rather than a utilitarian tool for acquiring or transmitting knowledge. The measuring instruments are paper machines, resembling dozens of mechanisms at once. It is impossible to determine their functionality – it is either forgotten or still undiscovered. The formulas and diagrams on the shelves are difficult to decipher. But we do know that this is how the world was once explained – through the accumulation of artifacts, creating communities of knowledge to deepen and transfer it from person to person. This knowledge is tactile and experiential, tied to the physical world, to the emotional and naive consciousness of man of our time.”

by Yulia Yousma on the occasion of the “Delicate Fractal” solo exhibition