Florian Kuhn and Erik Esso. Blurred Boundaries: Human, Machine, and the Posthuman World

Under the name Proto, we want to explore the contrast between the analog archive and the global depth of the Internet. For us, it’s about the questions: Where from? and Where to? We are concerned with the increasingly blurred distinction between human and machine, between the human and the posthuman world: what is the precursor of what is now considered human? What is no longer human? The focus is on exploring the emergence of the archaic human, the emergence of the emergent meta-human – the globe turned cognitive. Is it not perhaps the archaic human who loses himself as he turns to digital dust to create God?

Using concrete examples of our own artistic works, we would like to negotiate issues in art that involve systems of machine learning, from copyright to romantic relationships between man and machine, to machine painting.

Florian Kuhn engages with the question of the image in his works, thus addressing one of the central discourses of our contemporary era. In this sense, his artworks elucidate the various aspects and mechanisms at play in visual communication and reception processes. Furthermore, they subtly reveal the interplay between images, culture, and an identity driven by authorship.

Erik Esso studied in the Gregor Hildebrandt class, Academy of Fine Arts Munich. Esso challenges the boundaries of artistic media, his objects are a homage to the medium of painting, while simultaneously questioning it. He currently lives in Berlin.