The 𝐅𝐮𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 is 𝐒𝐭𝐮𝐩𝐢𝐝
Introduction to Ultra, post-AI journal of art.
There was once a warning at the edge of the world, that said—
“Non Plus Ultra”
[there is nothing more beyond]
It was carved on stone at the mouth of The Mediterranean, close to Gibralter; a monument to the completeness of our knowledge, for everyone to know that to venture further would be madness. Annihilation.
Imagine! You're standing at the edge of the known world, and you've still gone no further than fucking Spain.
But they had no idea what lay beyond the horizon; a traveller that had made it that far had already made it further than anyone.
(We're the same. I know we are.)
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We stand at the edge, uncertain of what's to come.
At the birth of new technology (AI), like all of them, we wonder how it will change us. We expect a lot, think— maybe it’s our wheel. Maybe it’s our loom. Maybe broadcast, or the internet, or something new.
Maybe it will simply destroy us.
It will wreck writing, they say. It will reassemble art. It will give us almighty powers of creation, granting even a child the power of god to call into existence with a word [prompt]. It will remake us.
All of this is a distraction.
Every great technology destroys. All of them disappoint, eventually.
Machines can only learn from what has gone before, are disconnected from instinct, smell, doubt, true connection, a soul.
All the truly great things in life are transcendant:
— Love, wonder, the great unknown, the great beyond (god if you want);
— Sex and other intense sensory connective experiences that feel like they break time;
— Art and aesthetics, things that we hold close to us [our souls]
Ultra is a journal of fine art for a post-AI world.
It is a response to the generally banal discourse on the topic.
It asks how we will look at art differently when the means of creation has become so commoditised.
It asks how we can continue to find magic and healing in a world where most art is just meaningless content.
By focusing on what is endless and unchanging, we can find more interesting answers. Outrun the machine, turn the duel into a dance.
Ultra is made through conversation and experiment, with artists who are breaking boundaries.
Those still in love with the things only humans can do, who celebrate unchanging us.
And those who seek to push the edges of what technology now allows us, working at the fringes of synthetic art.
Ultra is a place that’s in love with the real, the sensory, the ephemeral, the transient, the lost.
That holds a wake for what's gone.
A place for beauty, blasphemy and beyond.
Because we’re already at the edge of the world.
Who cares if we fall off?
The future is stupid — Jenny Holzer, 2020
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