Telepathy and New Labor

Verein zur Förderung von Kunst und Kultur am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz e.V.
Curated by Warren Neidich, Susanne Prinz, and Jacquelene Drinkall
July 24 – August 21, 2021

Participating artists include Kathryn Andrews, Simon Denny, Suzanne Dikker and Marina Abramović, David Horvitz, Agnieszka Kurant, Jonathan Monk, Gianni Motti, Lorenzo Sandoval, and Suzanne Treister.

“Galaxy Brain” by Erik Morse on ARTFORUM

Telepathy is defined as the ability to know what is in someone else’s mind (or to communicate with someone mentally) without using words or physical signals. It is related to such notions as precognition, psychokinetics, sixth sense, premonition, augury, precognition, telekinesis, and telesthesia. A bevy of new technoceuticals that technologically assisted telepathic capacity (such as brain–computer interfaces, cortical implants, bio neuro-headsets, and neural ‘smart’ dust) are already in use. Elon Musk created Neuralink to overcome what he considers to be the main obstacle to optimum human–machine interaction in communication: bandwidth. Touch screens and keyboards are slow and inefficient means to interact with a computer. However, “neural lace” and “neural dust” provides a much faster high-bandwidth interaction with which Musk hopes to make consensual telepathy possible for everyone by using brain-computer interfaces to intensify their mental capacities in the workplace. In cognitive capitalism, the proletariat working on the assembly line has been replaced by the cognitariat working on the World Wide Web using virtual platforms to create data. These new brain-based mediated telepathic and telemetrix technologies, which recode our brain wave patterns into data streams open for analysis and algorithmic jurisprudence, have opened a window into our unconscious. As such, what Shoshana Zuboff in Surveillance Capitalism has called the “Big Other” will take on added significance as a means of total control and subjectivization. Artistic practices engaged with telepathic practices by producing alternative uses beyond optimization in the workplace create the possibility to experiment ourselves out of this future nightmare—if we only have the will to think and act to make it possible.

[PDF] Edited by Jacquelene Drinkall and Warren Neidich.

This project is made possible with support from Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Verein zur Förderung von Kunst und Kultur am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz e.V., and private donors.