Thinking Within and Across

Main Article Content

Lucy HG Solomon
Cesar Baio

Abstract

Thinking Within and Across is a critique of the human mind as separate from other intelligences, isolated by the project of Modernity and its imprint on science, religion, philosophy and theories of the mind. Sourcing logic models within microbiological systems, art collective Cesar & Lois seeks to work across different intelligences, through what we call a “bhiobrid” (bio-digital hybrid) intelligence—a crossing of human knowledge through books with the pre-human logic of microorganisms and a post-human artificial intelligence. The microbiological intelligence is based in nature and reflects knowledge embodied within whole systems. This type of microbiological knowledge is also endemic to human beings; much of our bodies is host to microbial entities, and those simple microbes interact with complex multicellular networks within the human body. Alternatively, at the forefront of artificial neural networks are attempts to replicate the human brain’s processing of electrical signals, resulting in a human-based super intelligence. We look to microbiological logic. Degenerative Cultures, an artwork created by Cesar & Lois and with Physarum polycephalum, pictured in Figure 1, crosses microbiological, technological and human knowledge systems in order to learn from the logic of non-human systems, which supports ecosystemic growth. The intelligences also work together as they grow, mapping and corrupting the predatory knowledge frameworks that have consistently driven how humanity interacts with living entities within nature. In outlining the thinking that propelled this integration of intelligences, we frame the capacity for thinking across species and systems within Jason W. Moore’s web of life, in which all systems (human and non-human) are connected. As the human participants and Physarum polycephalum become interlocutors across these systems, they become entangled with one another, interacting in new ways. Embodied through entanglement, the merged microbiological and human networks populate Donna Haraway’s interspecies worldings.

Keywords: Bhiobrid, Bio-art, Cross-Intelligence, Living/Artificial Intelligences, Microbio-logical, More-than-human

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