An undead Steve Jobs crawls around in a purgatorial wasteland of physical and digital sewage. Partly disgusted, partly enthralled by the world he has so significantly contributed to, Jobs finds himself only a pawn in a much bigger scheme of history: he is the surrogate of a deranged AI, a data mongrel comprised of all our networked activity. As the AI struggles to emulate what it means to be human, tensions arise between the clinical gaze of the machine and the imperfection of its emulation.
This commissioned performance by musician, conceptual artist, and composer James Ferraro speculates on a future society in which AIs manipulate living humans with the goal of creating the ultimate consumer product. In collaboration with visual artist Nate Boyce, the choir Phønix16, and the actor Christoph Schüchner, Ferraro has created a stage-based audiovisual spectacle, an infernal vision of our socially networked, hypercapitalist times. Fusing modern classical composition with post-digital aesthetics, the world of Plague hints at the coming automation of human destructiveness.
A part of the annual CTM/transmediale concert at HKW, "Plague" is commissioned by transmediale and Abandon Normal Devices as part of the New Networked Normal with the support of the Creative Europe program of the European Union.
James Ferraro is a contemporary musician and artist. His work is known for responding to life in the 21st century and for dealing with unique facets of our contemporary moment, such as post-9/11 consumerism and "hyperreality".