Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Simulated Rabbi

The Post-Humanity Triptych is a "religious icon" for a post-human world. The center panel depicts the (self-inflicted) sacrificial crucifixion of humanity.  The end of humanity paves the way for a new simulated form of religious consciousness--depicted in the simulations on each side panel.

"A Simulated rabbi" Oil on Linen, 18" x 24"
A "Simulated Rabbi" appears to be the same as an actual rabbi. That is what makes it a "simulation." This rabbi is simulated because (1) it is a painting and all paintings are simulations, (2) the model I used was certainly not a rabbi, and as far as I know not Jewish and knows nothing "rabbinic," (2a) the model is holding a blank book and is thus only simulating the study of Talmud, (3) the painting was ultimately completed using a photograph of the model, and is thus "a simulation of a simulation," and (4) the painting depicts a rabbi in a post-human world, where all rabbis (and other humans) are computer simulations.

The Crucifixion of Adam and Eve In New Jersey

With the extinction of humankind and all biological life as a result of environmental or other human-made disaster, the digital minds that inherit the world will regard humanity as having sacrificed itself in order for simulated minds inherit the universe. This sacrifice will become the center of the "digital religious cult,"  the religion of the simulated Christians and Jews, who are depicted in the side panels of the triptych.

"A Simulated Sister" in Process

"A Simulated Sister" Oil on Linen, 18" x 24"

The computers and digital humans will have little spiritual interest in the events and scripture of their human forbears.  Rather, they will be interested in their own origins and the events that led biological life to be transcended in favor of digital consciousness. Their religious impulse will be directed towards those events--the "sacrificial" extinction of humanity among them--that produced the science and technology resulting in their creation and word-dominion.

A Simulated Rebbetzin

"A Simulated Rebbetzin" Oil on Linen, 18" x 24"
Infrequently Asked Questions

How is it that the digital simulations bother with religion?

 They need to pass the "Turing Test" to demonstrate that they are indistinguishable from humans, and since humans have religion they have it too.

Do these simulations pass the Turing  test? 

 Yes, virtually everybody who sees these paintings believes that they are paintings of actual humans. No one even suggests that they are paintings of simulations.

How can anyone see them if they are from post-human times?

Very good question. Perhaps those who see them are themselves simulations.

 Why are there four paintings in the triptych?

 The rabbi is incomplete without the  Rebbetzin. The sister, of course, has no husband.