VOICE OF THE OPPRESSED
In Collaboration with Pat Pataranutaporn
For Bangkok Art Biennale 2022, Vatanajyankur collaborates with Pat Pataranutaporn, MIT Media Lab in creating the work titled Voice of the Oppressed (2022). Inspired by a literature The Pedagogy of the Oppressed written by Paulo Freire which argues that the injustice of our society has led to the dehumanization and objectification of individuals, Pataranutaporn created and trained two artificial intelligences named Kawitash1 and Kawitash2. While Kawitash1 represents control, structures, orders and rules, Kawitash2 seeks liberation, and breaking the cycle of exploitation.Voice of the Oppressed (2022) also comprises of live performance, videos, and sculptural installation. The video piece sees Vatanajyankur ‘s body objectified as a gun powder machine. Controlled by Kawitash1, the artist blows and breathes black intoxicated smoke. In parallel, the live performance sees the artist as a water canon attempting to erase the gun powder, cleansing the soot. The act symbolizes the artist’s and Kawitash2’s attempt to redeem humanization.
Constructed with clear glass windows, the room was designed to hold the polluted black gun powder as well as the water inside during Vatanajyankur's live performance. The glass room of 3x3 m also showcases 'Voice of the Oppressed' video work while the artist is not present inside the box.
The machine gun that blows out the black powder or water is exhibited in the middle of the glass box as a remembrance of the artist's extreme performance.
The 2 AI(s) are showcasing next to the glass box, speaking and conversing on the topic of oppression and freedom for 20 minutes (pre-recorded).
THE VIDEO WORK
Voice of the Oppressed
4K Video Work
Inspired by 'The Pedagogy of the Oppressed', which suggests that the oppressed are frightened and have fear of 'freedom' as the meaning of the word is still mysterious to humanity. The Author suggested that, in order to understand what 'freedom' could mean, the first step is to recognizing and realizing what oppression is, in order to go forward and do the opposite.
The video work 'Voice of the Oppressed' is an act of reflecting the meaning of 'oppression', a dark cloud that makes the air uncomfortable to breathe. In this work, Vatanajyankur's body has merged into a machine-gun which constantly blows out a black gun powder and eventually covers the white, breathable room with polluted toxic dust; a symbolic of continuous violence and oppression.
THE LIVE PERFORMANCE
19th November 2022
'VOICE OF THE OPPRESSED'
Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre
VIDEO COLLAGE OF LIVE PERFORMANCE
Guided by the debate of Kawitash 1 and Kawitash 2, Vatanajyankur lives inside the glass box while merging with the machine-gun, blowing out the polluted black gun powder and dissolving the pollution with clear water. Her body was struggling to survive while continuously inhaling the black dust and attempting to seek for breathable air; a symbolic of liberation and individual freedom with an act of cleansing the pollution with the water canon.
& AI Generated Conversation
The AI would embody the face of Vatanajyankur as her cybernetic alter ego through the poetic use of deep learning algorithm (deepfakes) trained on the artist videos combined with a natural language understanding algorithm trained on the artist's personal data. The generative dialogue between the two opposite AI cyber-self highlights the tension and struggle of human existence against oppression and the realizations of humanity in order to seek liberation. This AI dialogue would play out during the live performance of the artist as an internal dialogue that empowers her to regain humanity and poetically stand against the corrupted and broken system.
‘Voice of the Oppressed’ consists of live performance and AI-generated conversations in video format. The AIs are visually presented in large screen videos on the 2 opposite sides of her live performance with Vatanajyankur’s physical body and voice to signify a deeper level of self and identity manipulative and self-guiding process.