Mohammad Salemy is an independent New York-based artist, critic, and curator. His writings have been published in e-flux, Flash Art, Third Rail, and Brooklyn Rail. He has curated exhibitions at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Access Gallery, and Satellite Gallery in Vancouver. In 2014, he organized the Incredible Machines conference. Salemy holds an MA in critical curatorial studies from the University of British Columbia and is one of the organizers of The New Centre for Research & Practice.
Of the blatant contradictions of our epoch, two interest me the most:
1. The human population around the world keeps growing but humanity as the singular leading light of the evolutionary process is slowly fading. Machines – social, political, technical or scientific – are assembling into a fractured but unified system that threatens to replace humans as the subject of history.
2. The dominant cybernetic paradigm, whose prehistory can be traced back to the natural philosophy of John Locke and the political thought of Thomas Hobbes, is being pushed to its limits by the tendencies of its components to move towards a self-regulating, self-realizing and self-transforming system. I’d like to call this shift, “the new cybernetics.” The new cybernetics bears resemblance to the struggle between early Freudian psychoanalysis, which sought to understand and fortify the ego without properly addressing its darker side, the unconscious.