If everything would have happened as planned, the German premiere of “Move 37” would have taken place on March 21 and 22 during the festival “Spy on Me #2 – Artistic Manoeuvres for the Digital Present”. This would have been the first cooperation between HAU Hebbel am Ufer and the artist and biologist from Antwerp Thomas Ryckewaert. But due to the coronavirus suspending of the physical programme, his theatre performance about the computer programme AlphaGo and phenomena beyond human imagination couldn’t take place at HAU2. Instead, Ryckewaert now shares an essay which served as a blueprint for the performance. Here he draws a connection between H.P. Lovecraft‘s creatures and the cool horror of the intelligent machine.
“While the Baroque rules of chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of Go are so elegant, organic and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play Go.” – Edward Lasker, Chess Grandmaster
September 5, 1977. The unmanned space probe Voyager 1 is launched from Cape Canaveral. Its mission? To study the outer solar system: Jupiter and beyond. Apart from all the scientific equipment, there’s a phonograph record aboard the spacecraft, meant as a message for intelligent extra-terrestrial life. The “Voyager Golden Record” was a project of astronomer and cosmologist Carl Sagan, whom NASA asked to collect a wide range of images and sounds representing earth and its inhabitants. The alien capable of playing the record will be able to study the structure of DNA and hydrogen atoms, listen to the sound of thunder, wind and chimpanzees, or shake to Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode”. If the alien also happens to read English, it will be able to decipher the accompanying letter by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter: “This is a present from a small and distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe.”