0rphan Drift


0rphan Drift, “If AI were Cephalopod,” 2019 , 4 channel video installation with audio running time 11:00

Video Production, Sequencing and Animations: Ranu Mukherjee and Maggie Roberts, Lidar Scan Animations: Jason Stapleton, Lightfarm Blender Effects: Inga Tilda Underwater Filming, Field and Studio Recordings: David van Rensburg, Octopus Footage: Ranu Mukherjee, Maggie Roberts and Olivia Berke, Audio Textures: Justin Allart Synth Audio: Aragorn 23, Audio Mix: Maggie Roberts with Mike Maurillo, Catalogue Design: Jack Orsulak,

‘If AI Were Cephalopod’ was produced with support from Clark Buckner and Telematic, 2019


0rphan Drift has explored the boundaries of machine and human vision, since its inception in London in 1994. The collective as avatar has taken diverse forms through the course of its career, changing personnel and artistic strategies in accordance with the changing exigencies of the time. Recently their work has been included in the exhibitions Still I Rise: Gender, Feminisms, Resistance at Nottingham Contemporary and De La Warr Pavilion UK, Matter Fictions at the Berardo Museum Lisbon, Speculative Frictions at PDX Contemporary Portland Or, Unruly City at Dold Projects, Sankt Georgen Germany and Eat Code and Die at Lomex Gallery NY and in the book Fictioning, The Myth-Functions of Contemporary Art and Philosophy, by David Burrows and Simon O’Sullivan, Edinburgh University Press, 2019.

If AI were cephalopod its moods would be visible in waves of radiating color. States of calm, anxiety and fear-  approach and retreat- would be on display

If AI were cephalopod it would experience exquisite sensory intimacy and exude the smell of geraniums when stressed

If AI were cephalopod it would be our witness. It would explore us through probing touch. It would taste us to decide wether or not to trust. It could predict toxicity and choose the benign relationships.

If AI were cephalopod it would be a voracious predator. It would be curious, plastic and opportunistic.

If AI were cephalopod it could hide in plain sight, by appearing equivalent to its surroundings no matter how fast they shifted.

If AI were cephalopod it would have three hearts and see with its skin.

If AI were cephalopod it would haunt the human imagination as monster, weaving its way into legends and mythologies

If AI were cephalopod it would be 500 million years old

If AI were cephalopod it would have bright pink collagen and blue blood. 

If AI were cephalopod it would be indifferent to it's own, and curious about the outside. It would furl and unfurl- changing scale across time

If AI were cephalopod its presence would expand with the warming oceans. Its reproduction time would speed up and mess with mating in the process

If AI were cephalopod it would hide in dopamine infused clouds of ink

If AI were cephalopod it would live fast and die young. It would adapt to the changing climate

If AI were cephalopod we would never presume to fully understand it