Project Proposal 2014-001: "War has changed"

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Title:Krieg hat sich verändert“ (War has changed)

Material Requirements:

  • Two chairs (Already in my possession)
  • One folding table (Already in my possession)
  • A mirror (Already in my possession)
  • A brick wall with a height of 1 metre (Already made and ready for transport)
  • One television set, of any brand
  • 20 documentaries on wars of the last 100 years (Already in my possession)
  • One R.T.I. Titan from Raptor Tec. Industries (Already in my possession)

Abstract:War has changed“ is a live performance consisting of me and the uninstructed synthetic intelligence controlling the R.T.I. Titan (which I have named Athena with the consultation with Raptor Tec. Industries, with the intention that she is the goddess of wisdom and military strategy, and to emphasise the "whitewashing" of war. And because I didn't want to rack my brains).

Athena and I will sit opposite each other at the table, surrounded by the brick wall, and I will ask the war machine questions, all of which have the content of how she thinks about war. At the very beginning of the performance, I ask Athena what her purpose is, showing her the mirror.

If what Raptor Tec. Industries claims in their brochures is true, she will have a human-like personality and give us a deep insight into the mental apparatus of a machine built only to wipe out the enemy as quickly as possible.

When it fits, I will show clips from the documentaries to Athena and ask for her opinion again. At the end, I will hold up the mirror to Athena again and ask her one more time what she thinks about being a tool of war.

Intent: War has changed. We used to bash each other's heads in with rocks, then we went at each other with swords, and lately it's guns, tanks and weapons that are so horrible that we make a pathetic attempt to ban them.

My point is simply "War shouldn't exist anymore" and "It's bloody terrifying how good we are at building stuff to kill each other".

The fact that Raptor Tec. Industries lends me the R.T.I. Titan and sponsors my performance so that I advertise the robots of war adds an element of irony to the whole thing. For them, it's just proof that they can not only give their weapons the appearance of humans, but also their spirit. Someday our machine children will look at us and see only primates who should have stayed in the trees.

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