« Digital Blood », is this to say that our blood would have to be digital? This is a first approximation the question raised by Olivier Auber through a network installation that takes the form of a robotic reliquary connected to the world.
Neapolitans will understand the allusion: for six centuries, they celebrate every year in several churches in the city, the miracle of the liquefaction of the blood of San Gennaro, who died in the early fourth century. A reliquary containing a few drops of blood taken from him, is presented to the crowd each time expecting its verdict: as the blood appears liquid or dried, it is a blessing or rather a dark omen for all the community.
As the reliquary of San Gennaro, Digital Blood offers an experience to which everyone can participate, whether in the exhibition, or from any point on the planet. Via a smartphone, tablet or computer, anyone can connect to http://poietic.net to draw with all those connected at the same time: the image of the collective interaction of all participants is displayed in real time on the reliquary Digital Blood presented in the exhibition. This image is also available everywhere and everyone can observe it and display it as he/she wishes. Moreover, it is permanently diffused in various locations in Paris, Brussels, London, and soon: Mumbai, Bamako, Hong Kong, etc.
Thus, moment by moment, everyone can see if we act together as a human community (liquid), or if we behave as agents, absent or indifferent to each other (dry). Digital Blood and raises a prospective question: if our exchanges are required to be made one day exclusively through technology, will we still be human? Or will we become robots?
Olivier Auber is an artist and independent researcher member of the research group of the P2P foundation, affiliated to he lab « Evolution, Complexity and COgnition » (ECCO, Free University of Brussels) and to the Global Brain Institute