Three channel video-projection, satellite imagery, CESM climate model, multi-processor computer and custom software.

Asunder responds to a growing interest in the application of AI to critical environmental challenges by situating this approach as a literal proposition, combining state of the art climate and environmental simulation technology, a 144 CPU super-computer and Machine Learning image-making techniques. The result is a fictional 'environmental manager' that proposes and simulates future alterations to the planet to keep it safely within planetary boundaries, with what are often completely unacceptable or absurd results. In doing so, Asunder questions assumptions of computational neutrality, our increasingly desperate reach for techno-solutionist fixes to planetary challenges, and the broader ideological framing of the environment as a system.

Satellite, climate, geology, biodiversity and topography for a series of terrestrial regions is used to generate an ever evolving series of environmental management plans where human and non-human agendas are combined and weighted in different ways. A central argument made by those encouraging the uptake of AI, is that data driven systems can depoliticize or neutralize decision making. Extended to the context of ecosystems, this could imply that ecological agendas are prioritized over human goals (and over the status quo where human systems of production are preserved at the expense of everything else).

The work is structured into discrete simulations for different regions, positioning ecosystem as computational surface. As cities are relocated, nations combined, coastlines straightened or rivers moved, the work shifts between humorous to proposterous, from uncannily eco-fetishistic to tediously bureaucratic.


UNCANNY VALUES: Artificial Intelligence and You

May 29 – October 6th, 2019
Vienna Biennale for Change
Museum of Applied Arts

The Eternal Network

Jan 28 – Mar 01 2020
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Survival of the Fittest

Zum Verhältnis von Natur und Hightech in der zeitgenössischen Kunst
Feb 28 - May 24 2020
Kunstpalais, Erlangen

How to make a Paradise

Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt
Mar 27 - Aug 16 2020

Shenzhen New Media Art Festival

Bay Arts Mall
Dec 13 - Jan 15, 2021

Shaping the Invisible World – Digital Cartography as an Instrument of Knowledge

House of Electronic Arts (HEK), Basel
March 3 – May 23 2021

You and AI: Through the Algorithmic Lens

Pedion tou
Areos Park, Athens, Greece
June 25 - July 18, 2021

Fotograf Festival

National Museum of Agriculture, Prague
Sept 2nd - October 17th, 2021

There is No Planet B

Ars Electronica Museum, Linz
September 2021 - September 2022

La Biennale des arts numeriques Némo 2021/2022

Le Centquatre-Paris
October 9, 2021 - January 2, 2022


Tega Brain, Julian Oliver, and Bengt Sjölén.

Commissioned by the MAK for the VIENNA BIENNALE 2019. All exhibition views above from UNCANNY VALUES. Artificial Intelligence & You, MAK Vienna, 2019.
Photographs CC-BY Tega Brain 2019