Cognition / by Charles Martin



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