Consumption diary

Installation and action – 2023, wip




From the exhibition Al pati del darrere [at the backyard] (2023, MAC Mataró, curated by Azahara Cerezo):


During the last few years, the Estampa collective has been engaged in a creative and critical exploration of artificial intelligence technologies (more specifically, deep learning neural networks). These tools enable tasks such as image or text generation and have recently burst into much of the media and collective imagination through examples such as Midjourney or CahtGPT.

Adopting a critical stance towards these technologies involves questioning the interests behind their development and the purposes for which they are used. But, beyond their usefulness as tools and considering that they really open up interesting possibilities, their very existence entails a series of factors that cannot be overlooked.

The use of intensive computational processes, especially in the so-called “training” of these artificial intelligence models that use an increasingly large amount of data, entails high energy consumption. The general access to servers hosting these tools (as in the cases of Midjourney and ChatGPT) also implies a corresponding ecological footprint.

The interest in what these tools can contribute, or in to explore their limitations, on the other hand, conflicts with the concern for the environmental impact that this represents. Transiting this duality, the collective Estampa decides to install an electricity consumption counter for the computer that they use for artificial intelligence tasks, thus putting figures to the processes they carry out in their own studio.

Thus, Estampa gives access to this consumption data while at the same time puts them in relation to the energy needed to carry out other tasks and that which has been collected by a solar panel installed in the exhibition space.