Artificially Ever After: Does AI Make Human Lovers Obsolete?
Why We Recommend it
Using paradoxical concepts and humorous language, Beijing- and New York-based contemporary artist Lin Jingjing explores the meaning and significance of humans in the age of artificial intelligence.
Technological advancement continues unabated under the guise of efficiency and convenience. The new era of Automation Technology – namely artificial intelligence (AI) – is imbued with potential while raising unprecedented concerns.
In his latest solo exhibition, Chinese artist Lin Jingjing (b. 1970) asks: “What if the best lovers and life partners were also no longer human?” The 6-channel video You Need To Be Careful With Me: I Fall In Love And I Fall In Love Forever (2019) simulates an engaging commercial television advertisement.
Using appropriated footage and images from movies and the internet in combination with dynamic commercial language, the artist introduces the audience to an all-new AI lover. While the video resembles a public service announcement, the world it presents appears dystopian. The seemingly affectionate title is suggestive of a double entendre as the word “forever” may be implying non-human. In Lov-Lov’s world, consumers can freely download the appearance, voice, behaviour, memory, wisdom, and even humour of any human in history, such that they may maximise their happiness and satisfaction.
Another work of noteworthiness is Lov-Lov Shop (2019). Taking over half the space, this artwork is an advertising campaign that promotes different models of ideal companions using exaggerated catchphrases. Expanding beyond romantic partners, the triptych Unconditional Love and Companionship On Call (2019) showcases a society constructed entirely of AI and customised based on Lov-Lov’s data analysis of the user’s upbringing and need for relationships and social validation. In this society, humans live unburdened by relationships as AI takes into account our desires for social harmony, intimacy, and a sense of belonging. AI incorporates these needs into a completely closed and manageable system, eliminating the possibility for unwanted conflict and drama. Through this series, Lin poses the question: “In a world perfect as such, will humans willingly terminate their relationships with other human beings (and even all other natural life) and live happily ever after in an artificial simulation?”