Cognition is an audio/visual performance inspired by the possibilities and consequences for humanity of near-future technologies.

Human reliance on technology to augment our lives is inescapable. Our pre-human ancestors used simple digging and cutting tools, large-scale societies are due to the emergence of agriculture and domesticated animals, and now, among other advancements, world-wide computer networks have allowed instantaneous and near perfect communication for much of the human race. This technology has become ubiquitous within a single human life span.

Such fantastic progress in only a few short decades has prompted some futurists to predict that in a few decades, computers will be advanced enough to connect to a human brain directly or even to upload and simulate a human mind. Could we live forever inside a computer?

Another striking prediction is the idea of a singularity of technological advancement. If it took humanity thousands of years to develop agriculture, hundreds to develop efficient worldwide transport, decades to develop miniature electronic circuits and only a few years to develop ubiquitous computer networks, what next? The singularity is when our rate of technological advancement has increased to infinity. Will we have truly sentient computers? A complete understanding of genetics and our own biochemistry? Any of these possible technologies would have disquieting consequences for humanity.

Cognition has been created by the Hunting Season 2008’s cross-artform collaborators. We are actors, musicians, programmers, sculptors, visual artists and writers who have been generously invited to create a unique performance that combines elements of all of our skills and experiences.

Creators:

  • Hanna Cormick - movement, vocals
  • Michael Ellis - movement, vocals
  • Benjamin Forster - live visuals
  • Emma Gibson - writing
  • Charles Martin - improvised and pre-recorded music
  • Sally McKittrick - costume design, sculpture, lullaby
  • David Shaw - lighting, set design and technical operation

Special Thanks:

  • Hunting Season Directors:
  • Ben Drysdale
  • Michael Bailey
  • Alley McGregor
  • Belconnen Community Services
  • ANU School of Music, New Media Laboratory

Other Collaborators:

  • Christina Hopgood - pre-recorded vocals