RAPTURE

#rapture

Andrea Khora’s newest video Rapture, 2024, is an AI-infused fiction capturing the darker side of the current psychedelics start-up culture.  The narrative anchor of this visually seductive piece is an interview between Ethan Grant, a CEO of a fictional psychedelic start-up Transendex and Kate Thompson, the host of “Mystical Misadventure” podcast.

AI and a psychedelic experience are two key components of the visual language of the work. Although Khora's inputs and AI’s outputs merge seamlessly, there is an impressive amount of artist’s labour and research poured into this piece. Khora introduces the touchstones of the current psychedelic healing landscape and asks crucial ethical questions about the power relations within it. Through the character of Kate, she interrogates the use of Indigenous knowledge for profit and the wellbeing of patients in inherently hierarchical church-like congregations conceptualised by Ethan.

Besides the video, the exhibition at Blessed will present the research and process behind the piece bringing more attention to the complex work dynamic
between the artist and AI. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a public programme looking deeper into the institutionalised psychedelic experiences, and the intersection of AI and psychedelics.

Andrea Khôra is an artist and researcher based in London. Her practice seeks to comprehend the malleability of reality on personal and societal scales. As a PhD researcher in the Art Department at Goldsmiths, her practice-led project examines expanded consciousness and maps its intersection with hegemonic institutions, in particular, what is birthed from their tensions. Sites of interest include CIA parascience experiments in the Cold War, early internet utopian histories, and psychedelic countercultures of the 1970s, as well as the artist’s own experience within medical psychedelic therapy.

The exhibition is open to the public
Tuesday - Thursday, 3 pm - 6 pm 
and by appointment:
info@blessed-foundation.org
16 May - 27 June 

Blessed Foundation
6 Stannary Street
SE11 4AA London
 

Rapture by Andrea Khôra is commissioned and co-produced by KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Blessed Foundation, London; and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen. 

Image:
Andrea Khôra, Rapture, 2024,m video still, courtesy of the artist


BEDTIME
STORIES

#bedtimestories

Bedtime Stories is a knowledge-expanding performance between artist Maja Smrekar and a robot who develop shared language and understanding using storytelling as a vehicle. Since their inception, robots have been seen as an amplification of humanity and a possible cause of its future demise. Smrekar explores the ambiguities of the human-robot relationship through a deeply personal work that centres on the understanding of different facets of pain.

Maja Smrekar is an award-winning artist and researcher. Smrekar explores the potentials of current technological and scientific processes across ecology, ethology, artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, molecular biology amongst other disciplines. In 2017, she received the Prix Ars Electronica - Golden Nica 2017 in the Hybrid Arts Category (Linz, Austria). In 2018, she was the recipient of the Prešeren Foundation Award, the highest award for artistic achievements of the Republic of Slovenia. In 2020 and 2021, she was the Science Breakthrough of the Year finalist within the Science in the Arts category of the Falling Walls Foundation and Berlin Science Week. Smrekar exhibited extensively with over twenty solo and fifty group shows around the world.
Image: Maja Smrekar with a Spot robot dog, 2021, courtesy of Ars Electronica and Martin Hieslmair

THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN

#thefutureisunwritten

The Future is Unwritten Artists’ Response Fund was established in 2020 as part of the United Nations 75th Anniversary Program (UN75) and World Health Organization Solidarity Series of Events. The Fund provided production support to artist-led projects that looked to improve mental, social and environmental health in the wake of COVID-19. The fund prioritised projects on the frontline of global health crises, especially where the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing threats to the environment, economy, public health, political stability and human rights. Considering both the physical and psychological cost of health crises, the fund aims to empower artists working with marginalised communities, and whose projects represent models which can be scaled to contribute to a paradigm shift on health and sustainability issues around the world. Partnership with Culturunners.

Image: Chip Thomas, Rose Hurley with Her Great Grandson, Painted Desert - Pandemic as a Portal, The Future is Unwritten Artists’ Response Fund, 2021-2022, courtesy of the author