In ancient Rome, there was a ceremony where predictions were made observing the flight of birds. These predictions were called auspices. Today, prediction is in the core of technical and scientific discourse: from big data to the growing interest in machine learning techniques. Are these current techniques, consulted by companies and governments, the embodiment of the ancient auguries?
This question is the seed of the installation Auspices. A contemporary oracle that replaces birdwatching with aircraft monitoring. An ADS-B device captures radio frequency signals from aircrafts and matches them with commercial aviation data. With every detection of an out-of-the-ordinary flight (private jets, luxury or military charter flights), the production of an omen is launched – an enigmatic message that appears on the LED screen. These are messages written by a machine -a neural network for text generation-, trained with a dataset of esoteric literature and macroeconomics prediction reports. As in the oracles of ancient times, the true art of these omens lies in their interpretation.
By linking archaic divination arts with the predictive technologies of the present, Auspices asks for a critical reflection on the mythologies of prediction.
Installation: LED screenn (125 x 27 x 10 cm) and ADS-B receiver.
Photographic series: 4 photographies
Publication: poster (in Catalan and Spanish)
Auspicies has ben funded by UNZIP
Digital Art Award and 1rst runner-up award at V Mostra d’Art Emergent Sabadell
Photographic series Auspicies at El Prat de Llobregat
Complementary video of the photographic series
Publication 305 x 428 cm
Photographic documentation of the realization and exhibition of Auspices