I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream

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13 April, 3 – 5pm


An exhibition by North East-based visual artists KA Bird and Jacques Verkade.

Curated by Katie Houser and Cody Sowerby, I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream is a timely exploration of pressing contemporary issues surrounding unchecked technologies. 

Having evolved from conversations surrounding the digital body and the complex interplay between humanity, technology, and power, the exhibition draws parallels between our society and that in Harlan Ellison’s dystopian short story I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream, in which an artificial intelligence is trained on the most destructive human instincts in order to fight an absolute war — a philosophical term which can be described as a war without compromise.

In the case of Ellison’s fiction, the absolute war is enabled to reach its logical extremes by AI. Unconstrained by moderating factors which inevitably influence the course of real wars, the AI in Ellison’s story fulfils its programming by violently desolating the earth. Left purposeless, the sentient AI becomes disturbingly corrupted: animated with resentment or even an intense hate for humans.

The apocalyptic ending to I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream raises questions about the nature of power and where human ability to create and destroy might lie when using advanced surveillance networks. By drawing attention to the commodification of personal information and the erosion of privacy, the artists here highlight ethical implications of surveillance and data collection in our world. 


7a Segedunum Way Wallsend NE28 8JN

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13 April—11 May 2024

  • Thu 10am – 2pm
  • Sat 12 – 3pm

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