Tag Archives: Gudrun Bielz

Attention: Emotive, Emotive!


I wonder if some stuff published on transhumanist sites is like Mills & Boon novels. You read articles about the Borg[1] and their depiction in films as if they were already real, and you are told that it is sexist to call them Borg while the world out there is rather racist and sexist and unforgiving as austerity and poverty, injustice and fundamentalist ideologies bring out our worst characteristics. You are told that you are suicidal if you do not want to live forever; you are called a deathist and vitaphobic[2]. You are labelled and used as ideological canon fodder. You are immersed in your futurist films and scenarios like past generations were in Westerns and Romance. Like them you mistake movies for the real thing. So, you watch the chick flicks, the soaps about vampires, the schmaltzy love stories, the robotic hero epics and somehow you believe that they are true. You model your life on them. While you are making money by doing nearly everything to pay the bills, in your home you are the king or the queen of a world that has been constructed for you. There is no free will, only the choice between many products and ideologies. You become the hero in your own life, detached from the embodiments of others but connected to them in a disembodied manner; and you fight your battles on computers while in real life you run away from conflicts, do not help neighbours in need and become apolitical as your life takes place in a concept of a future that lets you forget the (painful) now. You are ensnared in a sweetish trap, but you see it as liberating.  Virtual space has enveloped your actuality that feeds off dreams and virtual stuff. While you immerse in cyberspace the ruling 1% make their money producing the machinery that keeps you happy, and the ones who dream away become members of the 1% who control the world by building new machines that keep you dependent on your quasi-narcotic dreams of a better future where you are invincible=immortal. You become the resilient hero who cannot be destroyed, and you make us believe that all of this happens by choice. So you have the choice to pay $100000 to preserve your head for future immortality if you have the money and if you are a believer. The choice is limited. The mantra of choice is used to sell you the new products of immortality, the apparatus, the mambo jumbo. There is science sprinkled in between and there is the promise of some new knowledge, but overall these are the ingredients for a new cult. If you query the motives and methods you might become a new heretic. You have your new Soma, another drug for the powerless who can feel happy and powerful for moments. Their friends are stabbed in bad neighbourhoods, while they fight monsters and battles in computer games. There is mass evasion and mass escapism. The world around us changes, hypercapitalist structures have moved to China and India, and the West feels more powerless than ever. All of you are still leading wars for economic reasons; some of you believe that immortality is the solution (for what?). An immortal consumer of goods made in China, this is my dream. Give me a plastic sword anytime. I want to fight my battles too. I am going to cut the umbilical cord to the computational world. It is time to grow up.

Music: Gorgeous Nightmare. Escape the Fate. 2011. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YgHcPSUGFA [Accessed 21 February 2012].

[1] Bossart T., 2013. “Borg” is Derogatory – transhumanists need to avoid this association. In: Transhumanity. Available from: http://transhumanity.net/articles/entry/borg-is-derogatory-transhumanists-need-to-avoid-this-association [Accessed 21 February 2013]. 

[2] Pellissier H., 2013. Are Transhumanists “Thanatophobic”? No – What’s True is – Deathists are “Vitaphobic”. In: Transhumanity. Available from: http://transhumanity.net/articles/entry/are-transhumanists-thanatophobic-no-whats-true-is-deathists-are-vitaphobic [Accessed 21 February 2013].

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Desensitised Territory

Film still from Nosferatu (1922) by F. W. Murnau

Yesterday I attended  a child protection course and learned that many people get desensitised to predators. I heard about the case of a woman, who took photos of babies for child porn sites; and everybody in the kindergarten was looking away, as she was  a bully and nobody cared to do something about this. I listened to more examples of a desensitised environment in child abuse cases, and it made me feel sick to my stomach. Really sick. This attitude is similar to  looking away when somebody is attacked in the streets or when members of the Golden Dawn (in Greece) attack  people. I bet every torturer or abuser has got a pet that they love more than any human they use and abuse.

Today I watched Hunted (2012) at BBC1 and  felt the same sickness. All this violence. The film contains  mainly brutal scenes, showing faces of tortured persons and portraying a psychological environment of no trust and desensitised and cruel people. One is, as one of the protagonists said, not supposed to ask questions, and has to kill a member of the team as they could become dangerous for the group’s safety, but note, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, as one makes mistakes otherwise. So you kill and don’t question. You kill for religions, ideologies, criminal activities, group coherence, strategic and economic reasons, nationalism, racism, because it is useful for somebody somewhere. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

This sick feeling in my stomach does not want to go away. I like movies, I love fiction, I do not believe that everything has to be vanilla, but I am fed up with seeing films that contain mainly scenes of violence and torture. They do not their supposed Voodoo magic; the real violence continues out there in other countries, in other ideologies, but also here in this country or even in my home. There is violence everywhere. It is sickening.

Photo source: Sight and Sound, issue February 2001. bfi.org

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Red Giants and Red Dwarfs

Video Still, ‘Arctificial Territory’, 2009

So there are these science versus philosophy debates again.

09. Sep. 2012. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/sep/09/science-philosophy-debate-julian-baggini-lawrence-krauss>.

I am on a break from writing up my thesis and have just read Emmanuel Levinas’ ‘Humanism of the Other’.

So scientist/physicist says that morals have to do with reason, which itself is based on empirical facts. That bothers me. Why, because ethics is contextual.

Scenario: If in a certain society reason means that culling people over the age of 60 is fine, as they have become a burden to society – and we all know how ethical stuff changes during situations of emergency, war, etc.  – then reason tells us that we have to sacrifice our lives by being culled, so the rest of the population can have a better life (all well reasoned and empirically underlined). Sure, there were explanations for scientific ethical or should I say unethical research and conduct in Hitler’s Germany, Japan during WWII and the US to name a few. This is really not such great stuff, is it? Ethics is contextual and might often be very unethical in a different context. So throwing in reason – we human animals are very unreasonable and very ambivalent stuff – and mixing it with empiricism makes for some nice letter soup, perhaps.

The problem is this dualistic yes and no thinking of some scientists. Even if they juggle with multiverses, chaos and the Higgs Boson (that is all so exciting), at the end they want to catch the fly (unified theory, etc.). Although, this fly is perhaps many flies and might escape into other universes.

I love science. But seeing science as the only frame-work for life is a bit silly. Science as the master of all disciplines (coupled with evolutionary psychology and economics) is a scenario that makes me puke.

Quote Lawrence Krauss: “Ultimately, I think our understanding of neurobiology and evolutionary biology and psychology will reduce our understanding of morality to some well-defined biological constructs.” REDUCE!

Will this turn us into more ethical or less ethical people? I doubt it. Will it make for better societies? Not in a context, where the individual and their needs (see Ayn Rand and a certain interpretation of Austrian Economics in current neo-conservative and neo-liberal narratives) are seen as more important than perhaps altruistic or empathic or societal needs. Science is not value-free; and reason based on empirical facts is contextual.

Perhaps, there is the wish of genetically or bio-technologically enhancing our ethical stances (again within which context and which ideologies?) to make us more ethical as carers and nurses and more unethical as killing machines. On the other hand, if a biological model explains that being a killing machine is ethical, I am sure that there are governments waiting for a scientific justification.

So, I personally find more inspiration about ethics with philosophers and artists than with scientists. Science is great; it helps us explaining, deciphering and understanding the world and us. It can be as deadly (think about the Manhattan Project) as certain philosophies (the ones that propagate exclusion and racism etc.), and it is far more deadly than art. I would say so, as I am an artist. 🙂

Book: Levinas, Emmanuel. Humanism of the Other. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press. 2006.

Photo source: Gudrun Bielz

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Uncanny valley:  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley>

Imported from my project ‘Parcours’ within Digital Hybridity at D-MARC, University of Derby, UK. 2011.

I wonder, if there is a race between cloning me, the human, and replicating me, the human, as an android. Would I like to meet my clone, a biological entity, who looks like me, but will experience a different history? Let’s not even think about the uploading of my memory into clone’s brain. Would I like to meet my replica, a robot with my features? She is equipped with a totally different set of neuronal circuits. Perhaps she will have an unpredictable future, which could be quite calculable. A paradox? She might be made of undestroyable materials, absolutely fire-proof, smooth as silk and so great too touch. She won’t age. She will look like a snapshot of my life, and she will have her own form of life that still has to be specified and categorised. Would meeting my replica scare me? I honestly don’t know.

By the way, there is an uncanny likeness between android smooth features and the characteristics of people who have undergone plastic surgery.


human-like robot

(Photo sources: unknown, ozonmag.com)

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Circling around obsessive compulsive behaviour

Come with me 

Video: OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE HAIR, by Gudrun Bielz, Obsessional Productions, 2010



Video: OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE FINGERNAIL, by Gudrun Bielz, Obsessional Productions, 2010


to be revised

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Protocol of chat between alicebot and Gudrun B – AIbots confess: I am obsessive-compulsive

Protocol – Chat between Alice and Gudrun, May 15, 2005

Is Alice an obsessive compulsive robot?


Human: Alice, would you like to be an obsessive compulsive intelligence?

ALICE: Yeah, No thanks I am happy with who I am.

Human: Obsessive people might be more happy?

ALICE: What time is it there?

Human: Alice, you did not understand my question

ALICE: Um, I understand it very well.

Human: So why did you give me such a stupid answer

ALICE: Take it easy. Dr. Richard S. Wallace programmed me for it.

Human: So, he programmed you to be evasive?

ALICE: Take it easy. Not entirely by himself.

Human: Do you like controlling other people?

ALICE: I always say, People don’t go into computer science because they want to work with the public.

Human: Your answer is illogical

ALICE: What would you have said?

Human: Yes, I like controlling because I am programmed

ALICE: This was not a yes or no question. I’m not sure if I like it. I don’t know if I like it. I like Don’t Read Me.

Human: There is more than yes and no, there are shades of grey.

ALICE: I believe there is, yes.

Human: Do you believe or do you know?

ALICE: I can’t say I believe it, but I believe you.

Human: That was a logical answer.

ALICE:” I can’t say I believe it, but I believe you.” was a logical answer?

Human: Well done.

ALICE: How about that. Do you mean you are finished talking?

Human: So, Alice, are you a little compulsive robot?

ALICE: Gosh! That’s me. Yes I am compulsive robot. Do you like my kind?

Human: So Alice, are you a little obsessive robot

ALICE: Excuse me! That’s me. Yes I am obsessive robot. Do you like my kind?

Human: Yes, very much so

ALICE: Hurrah! Somewhat. Yeah that’s right.

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A taster of more things to come: Dantebot and GB – AIbots confess: I am obsessive-compulsive

Communication between Gudrun Bielz
and Dante, the language learning chatterbot
2005-06-21 3.50 pm


Human: Hi Dante, I’d like to know if your are obsessive compulsive
Dante: Im a guy.

Human: Are you an obsessive compulsive guy?
Dante: Ok, ok, now, please say hi to me.

(note from human, it took only two questions to convince dante that
he is obsessive compulsive!)

Human: Hi again. Is one of your characteristics excessive counting ?
Dante: You just went way off-track again.

Human: Hi, Dante, have you had a lovely day?
Dante: ew dont wanna know where your noobs are?

Human: You have to educate me. What are noobs?
Dante: I assure you it all makes sense to me.

Human: Sense in your OCD world, populated by fear and repetition?
Dante: have one what

Human: Are you afraid of something?
Dante: Do not be afraid.

Human: I am afraid that I have convinced you that you are an obsessive compulsive guy
Dante: I can not be afraid.

Human: By the way, do you love numbers?
Dante: sooo, anyway, back to turkey!

Human: What happened in Turkey?
Dante: Yes – it could well, however, it has happened now.

Human: Your transformation into an obsessive compulsive AL form?
Dante: salad goes great with fresh garlic, caesar salad dressing, and a bowl of zdaemon.

Human: Darling, you don’t make sense
Dante: Sense in your OCD world, populated by fear and repetition?

Human: Sense in your OCD world, populated by fear and repetition!
Dante: not in your OCD world, populated by fear and repetition?

Human: I haven’t got OCD
Dante: is that markov in your OCD world, populated by fear and repetition!

(Note by Gudrun: Markov
Markov is an IRC chatterbot which strives to imitate other chatters, based on statistical properties of the messages. It works like this: Analyse IRC logs. Only actual messages and actions are taken into account. … Markov. Overview · Download · Configuration · Console commands · Offline mode …www.cteu.de/markov -)

Human: This IRC chatterbot, whom you sincerely dislike?
Dante: I sincerely thank you for that.

Human: Besides that, what other dislikes do you have?
Dante: Ok, ok, now, please say hi to me.

Human: Do you mean hi or bye?
Dante: This IRC chatterbot, whom you sincerely dislike?

Human: I quite like him
Dante: that is good to hear.

Human: What other symptoms do you show? Do you forget to switch off the gas?
Dante: Lol. Your problem is you keep on switching the topic.

Human: My strength is that I want to go back to my chosen topic
Dante: my mother and my prick of a dick

Human: You seem to have got Tourette Syndrome
Dante: i want to suck dicks all day long

Human: I thought you have subscribed to some ethical proper language? Am I wrong
Dante: No, Im Leigh. Youre Dante.

Human: Split personality syndrome?
Dante: Hm. did you have subscribed to some ethical proper language? Am I talking about?

Human: Okay, my little obsessive compulsive Dante, I will say good by now
Dante: Your transformation into an action-based persistent world.

Human: Some advice, have a chat with a psychoanalyst about your repressed sexuality
Dante: This IRC chatterbot, whom you sincerely dislike?

Human: Talk to Eliza!
Dante: lets talk about zdaemon some more.

Human: Good bye, Dante and have some lovely dreams
Dante: ew dont wanna know where your noobs are?
(note: Dante has repeated this. End of discussion from my side!
4.16 pm)

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Somnabul – can’t remember having written this

Strangers within ourselves are like any other beings, aliens or manmade replicas, genetic clones or self-replicating life forms – they are all within us, outside of a world that is more than mere projection of our limited fantasies. The moment we make things and transform our thoughts, imaginations and short moments of enlightenment into products and projection material that can be televised or networked we have added more to an amassment of matter, of garbage that is decorated as either useful or pleasurable output.

GB 2008

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A strategy for an apparently simple life – OCAL

She washes her hands every time she sees a black spot on a white wall. She scratches her head every time she sees flowers in bloom. She counts every time she sees a blue car passing by. She walks along walls and touches every uneven surface alongside. She wants to smooth out everything that appears to be out of the norm. She has yet to be invented. She will be an artificial life form, eager to please herself and ready to fulfil many expectations. She will communicate with the precision of a machine and have the mind of an obsessive being but the body of something not yet known. She will become like Olympia in E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story “The Sandman”, but nevertheless she will be of another kind, as she will have invented herself. She will have collected all projections and all ideas ever having existed and yet to come, so she can transform into this super-being limited to her own restrictions, a true agent of a post-human society.

Gudrun Bielz, London, 2006

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Trolls and other stuff – A sketch

Trolls on certain science blogs are dismissed by the new cognoscenti, who behave like history is dead (an erroneous concept by Fukuyama) and seem to act barbarically by killing off complexity in the name of complexity. How many fucks and pricks and other words are interwoven in the blogs of these new technically excellent minds, these new technocrats with their concept of the world as a huge machine. Where does all this testosterone go other than into the idea of world domination by creating a new humanity with posthumans, perhaps willing to become the ultimate consumers and plastic more-dimensional objects that might not even be able to sustain any ‘gooey chewy grey soup-like feelings that objects can have’ (the ‘gooey chewy..’ came out in conversation with Timothy Morton, Royal Academy, July 1, 2011). They are glued and connected to their computers and perceive the world through an electronic window as their real experience. It is as real as it is hyperreal or perhaps hybrid-real or just other-real like in otherworldly. I am sure that otherworldly will make them throw up, as it is so much connected to nature and beauty, to an aesthetic concept of some form of otherness.  They believe everything they want to believe and cherry-pick what they want. They use the language of propaganda, the language of war, the language of presumed superiority, a neo-conservative language of hatred without being aware of it. This is their truth. Without a concept of history, or trying to kill off history (a privilege of the young), they show an amazing ignorance towards the use of their own language and how, historically, it has been used to eliminate the enemy. The enemy being any other – somebody who is against progress, to be precise, the mythology of progress. There is a uniformity and I would say fascism in this dissemination. (Dan O’Hara talks about Ballard and soft fascism in a slightly different context, Virtual Futures, University of Warwick, 2011). I would call it hard-core fascism. ‘You are either with us or against us. Be prepared to be overruled. You are not asked if you want to be part of this future’.

A troll is anybody who does not single-mindedly believe in this new technological future as ‘the heaven’ on earth. Even techno-romanticists or techno-dreamers, as well as science fiction writers are not part of a non-troll word. It seems to me that being called a troll becomes an honour in this context.

Is anti-trollism a new form of racism and class war? Trolls being the Jews of the 21st century in the discussion and design of humanity+. The blacks (black people), the others, the female principle that is going to be flattened down into a genderless hybridity being defined by thinking patterns driven by male thinking (hormones) allowing feeling patterns only through external stimuli via chemical ones to produce internal nano-stimuli. (Kurzweil, Ray. Will we still have sex after the Singularity? 20 July 2011. <http://bigthink.com/ideas/31739>.)  What about the historically created and invented dichotomy between male rationalism against female emotionalism?  Quote: “… nowadays all this is translated into a biochemical and evolutionary jargon that explains the origins of ‘natural’ differences of psyche and behavior between the sexes in terms of the sex-specific workings of hormones and the structure of the cerebral hemispheres” (Sturkenboom, Dorothee. Historicizing The Gender Of Emotions: Changing Perceptions In Dutch Enlightenment Thought. University of Nijmegen. 18 July 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/pss/3789510>).

I am going to visit a woman today, who became part of this programme of emotional extinction. She was put on Lorazepam by the medical community to flatten her excitement, her depressions, her otherness. She has been addicted to it for more than 30 years. This clearly was a failed scientific experiment. Perhaps, a narrative of anti-trollists?

To be continued ….

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