Ground Zero Earth

Exhibition Ground Zero Earth took place between 15th February and 22nd March 2019 curated by Yasmine Rix in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER). Bringing together five artists who question, provoke and explore our relationships with technology, our environments and how these relate to our humanity, Ground Zero Earth aimed to address what is at stake and ways in which we should be looking at the present and near future. In a world of increasing technological power, and multiplying existential risks, art’s ability to help understand those relationships, and provoke dialogue about them, could turn out to be a critical component of our toolkit for survival. Taking place through the Art at ARB programme, the exhibition’s objective was to explore themes researched by CSER. Having emerged as a research centre within CRASSH, located at the Alison Richard Building, it was an apt space to host this exhibition which was one of the first of its kind for the research group. In conjunction with the opening night, a panel discussion took place composed of Bob Bicknell Knight (Artist, Director and Curator) and David Lisser (Artist) Dr. Lauren Holt (CSER Research Associate, Bio-Risk) Dr. Beth Singler (Homerton College, Junior Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence) moderated by Dr. Adrian Currie (University of Exeter, Research Affiliate CSER). In conjunction with the exhibition a curator tour and film screening took place as part of the Cambridge Science Festival programme. ‘Rise of the Machines’ is a quartet of short films by Dr Beth Singler, made with the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion and the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge, with support from ARM for Friend in the Machine and Good in the Machine. This screening coincided with a launch of the fourth instalment in the series, Ghost in the Machine, exploring what consciousness is and whether a machine could be truly conscious. A Q&A took place chaired by curator Yasmine Rix, with Dr Beth Singler in discussion with Dr Matt Crosby (Post Doctoral Researcher, Leverhulme Institute) Dr Marta Halina (Lecturer in Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science) and Dr Simon Beard (Senior Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk).

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