The Supertask is a paradoxical goal that we have set ourselves – creating a model of the whole world. Named after British philosopher James F. Thomson's term for a quantifiably impossible endeavor, our model will serve both as an artistic exploration of the nature of models and as a criticism of their postulated role in a contemporary view of the world within both science and society. However, rather than construct one all-encompassing model we are focussing on specific aspects of models and aim to create an unlimited range of pieces and experiments which each reflect on a particular question in regard to the modeling of our world.
Yesterday’s Today is the first instance of The Supertask and was commissioned by curators Sarah Cook and Jean Gagnon for an exhibition titled Q.E.D. which took place at Liverpool’s LJMU Gallery in September 2011. It focuses on one of the most common examples of modeling – the weather forecast. Being the product of a highly sophisticated yet reductionistic computational model of the climate, results in a representation of a slice of reality – a number representing temperature on the scale of degree Celsius.
In order to explore the deviation between model and reality we created an installation which would serve both as open-ended experiment in the scientific sense and experiential space in the artistic sense. It artificially generates the temperature which has been predicted one day earlier for the respective location. It thus allows a visitor to be in a sense inside the manifest computational model and to experience it in contrast to the reality that is surrounding it.
The Supertask is an ongoing artistic research project of in collaboration with researchers Professor George Attard and Dr. Ali Tavassoli at the University of Southampton.