Science Gallery Dublin
Re-imagining the human/robot relationship
Science Gallery explores the intersection between science and art across 6 worldwide venues. For their Dublin show, titled Humans Need Not Apply, Science Gallery’s curators set out to investigate speculative ways in which artificial intelligence might redefine life as we know it. For this 3 month exhibition and programme of events, we collaborated closely with their team to design an identity and promotional tools that would turn much of the mainstream dialogue on its head.
Reflection on the changing landscape
These days there seems to be a constant stream of media coverage around Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and the rise of bots. The truth is it’s already here, used daily in most of our offices, homes and personal devices. And while we may seem to be blasé about trusting the algorithms of Siri or Spotify, we most definitely sit up and take notice when speculations arise around work-free utopias and dominating bot overlords. Humans Need Not Apply was aimed at the space between these dialogues with an aim of challenging our pre-existing behaviours and pre-conceived ideas. Our aims were to highlight the AI/Human relationship and create an unsettling feeling that provokes reflection on the changing landscape and where we see ourselves within it.
On the grid
The simple grid that we always use to arrange information is revealed, emphasised and played with. This helped establish a fundamental relationship between humans and the tools they develop to help make their lives easier, simpler, more organised. One that can easily be forgotten on a day to day basis.
A bot first approach
We wanted to create an unsettling feeling around the AI/human relationship, specifically reversing where we see ourselves within the conversation. To do this all our communications prioritised technical information over emotional and empathetic information. By putting bots needs first, we’d hoped to provoke audiences to consider the changing landscape and dynamics around A.I.
Crashing the show
The simplest breakdown of human/machine communications is something we’ve all experienced many times, the crash. The simplicity and recognisability of it felt like the perfect vehicle to drive the conversation further. We made the most if this by developing a visual language around typographic repetition, structured grids and twitching glitches. Brought to life across environmental and promotional graphics, our identity endlessly repeated the event name, sometimes misspelling it, sometimes crashing — giving audiences the feeling of being at the mercy of an out on control machine.
As artificial as it gets
To tie the disparate communications together, we combined a punchy artificial blue with an uneasy holographic material that brought a technical and un-natural feel to everything.