Dwellers Between the Waters


"Dwellers Between the Waters" is a multi-channel installation that is part of the exhibition 'Extensions of Self: An Exchange of Human and Artificial Intelligence' curated by Eva Fischer at Francisco Carolinum in Linz, Austria. The exhibition will be on view until January 28, 2024.

"Dwellers Between the Waters" is an interdisciplinary film project that weaves a rhizomatic narrative emerging from the continuous articulation of humans and non-humans, artefacts, inscriptions, animals, plants, spirits, ancestors, gods, organisms and technological prostheses, local and universal, apocalyptic fears and technological hopes. Its narrative is not linear but evolves organically, akin to the growth of a rhizome, through the collaborative intra-actions of the "dwellers" and machine intelligence. The "dwellers" traverse a vast repository of memories, navigating through the unfamiliar realms and uncharted territories of nascent manifestations of the post-material collective subconscious.

The project aims to explore and instrumentalise the disorientation that arises from the interaction between two distinct and invariably “alien” intelligences: that of a technological system (AI) and the one of the human subconscious. Throughout the project, this interaction becomes an exercise in solution narratives, a method used in hypnotic inductions to overwrite the trauma stemming from incomplete experiences of reality. Following Margaret Boden, the proposal is the possible creation of new and more potent analogies that lie outside of human perception, aiding thus the mapping, exploration and transformation of conceptual spaces.

The artwork's extended cinematic format becomes a dynamic tapestry of interdependent and intra-acting scenarios. It weaves both sublime and violent narratives to create imaginal realms and feelings that emerge through the human-machine assemblage (involving both open-source, commercial and self- trained models in the process) to create tools for re-invigorating our collective storytelling capacity and to share with empathy the multitude of worlds we inhabit.

In Trance Poetics (2013), Kristin Prevallet explores the relationship between language, thought, and embodied experience, highlighting the potential for poetic expression to facilitate healing processes within the body. She suggests that writing and reading poetry can become not only a means of regulating

emotional states but also a way of processing trauma. Prevallet's assertion that language, “as a conduit to thought, possesses a frequency and vibration capable of shi ing our cellular being”, resonates deeply the central explorations of "Dwellers," where the intersection of AI technologies, magical practices, and poetic narrative serves as a platform for exploring alternative modes of existence beyond the confines of conventional wisdom.

Dwellers emerges as a call to participate in re-imagining our shared existences amidst ongoing environmental devastation, societal upheaval, and the dissolution of inherited certainties. Through this multichannel audio-visual experience viewers are invited to join the collective quest for new knowledge and renewed connections across multiple planes of being where paradoxes, dilemmas, psychic and historical incongruences are voiced.

“Furtherings, ineffabilities, traces, resistances, yieldings, habitats, seams, transparencies, erosions and regenerations are of interest” (Jonas Mekas)

The project takes its further inspiration from Eugene Piletsky's assertion that AI systems can fully access features of the unconscious, such as automaticity, inaccessibility, and uncontrollability. The work seeks to leverage this unique capability of AI to explore and navigate the unconscious realms of human experience, creating a bridge between the conscious and unconscious, the seen and unseen, the known and unknown.

Subsequently, drawing on Olivier Brabant's insights, Dwellers posits that mind and matter, consciousness and physical reality, emerge from the same unitary source. This perspective allows for a merging of thresholds, a dissolution of boundaries that traditionally separate the quantum and classical realities.The project envisions a space where the subliminal mind, residing in the quantum level of reality, can interact with manifested consciousness operating within the laws of classical physics. Brabant's concept of latent reality as a non-local, self-organizing field of potentialities further informs the project's approach.

Dwellers seeks to foster a space that recognizes and celebrates the multiplicity of intelligences and representations that exist beyond the confines of cybernetic control. The project is an assemblage in the Deleuzian sense, a co-functioning symbiosis of heterogeneous elements, including human and machine intelligences, physical and virtual realities, and personal and collective narratives. It is not about tracing lines of descent or maintaining strict hierarchies, but about creating alliances and alloys, allowing for contagions of ideas and experiences to elucidate reveries like water does.

Text by: oxi pëng (yiou penelope peng|彭憶歐

CROSSLUCID is an artist collective founded in 2018 that engages in highly collaborative cross-disciplinary projects in co-evolution with technology.

Their work and research converge around the exploration of the self as a network; intimacy and the potential for pleasurable actualization through the digital sphere, and the re-imagination of our alliances with technology seen as part of a sympoietic biosphere and universal post-material consciousness.

Through filmmaking, poetic Artificial Intelligence, multi-layered techniques of collage, assemblage and experience-led interventions they create scenarios and build experiential formats that instigate prototyping and rehearsing potential futures and progressing metamodern values.

Their work has been exhibited and showcased by iMAL, Vellum LA, Epoch.Gallery, The Osaka Museum of Fine Arts, SXSW, FC Carolinum Linz, Expanded.Art, Art Encounters Biennial, Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art, AI Biennial Germany, NOWNESS, Google Arts & Culture, wrong biennial, LUX Moving Image, Garage Rotterdam, Art Basel Miami, The Lobkowicz Palace and ARD Culture amongst others.

Crosslucidʼs work has been published in international books and magazines: ZEIT, Dazed & Confused, CLOT, SO-FAR, Institute of Network Cultures, Modern Weekly, Elephant, British Journal of Photography, Slanted, and Kunstforum International.

Currently, they are working on their first full-length sci-fi documentary 'Translucid' and Osmotic AI, a tool for practitioners for communal healing, both in co-creation with commercial and self-trained AI systems.