Artificial Tears

Virtual Reality Art

A shown at Berlin Photo Week 2019

VR Art prize 2019 finalist

“Can a machine think?” Alan Turing asks in the opening line of his seminal paper that aimed to explore the possibility of a computer exhibiting human-like intelligence. The question, posed by Turing in the 1950s, led him to engage in deeper reflection on the common use of the terms “machine” and “think”, deeming the commonly held attitude dangerous. And he might have been right, as it is the common use of words that has led him to reevaluate this question in the first place. Nowadays, as technological devices become largely integrated into our lives, Turing’s dream that one would be able to speak of “machine thinking” without expecting to be contradicted became a part of our everyday reality and rendered the question far more compelling.

Artificial Tears started with a photographic project in 2017, as a reaction to the question: “what is the difference between humans and machines?” This inquiry is continuously up for renegotiation as technology progresses. Including the Turing Test that assesses a machine’s ability to think and behave indistinguishably from humans to current developments of artificial intelligence, the dichotomy is becoming more and more questionable. Over many decades, machines have proven to be stronger, faster, and more efficient in performing various tasks. Yet the narrative of the conscious system continues to emerge from human imagination as a disastrous model that puts machines in direct competition with our precarious, mortal bodies and minds, easily replaceable by a technological device. Even more than automation we fear autonomy – the vision of technology evolved from the extension of man into singular intention, inheriting human desires for domination and control.

In 2020, Evelyn Bencicova partnered with Ikonospace to create a unique VR experience for Berlin Photo Week. The project became the headline of the project and drew more than 300 visitors in 3 days.

It then continued to be selected and end in the finalists of the VR Art Prize 2019

Artificial Tears - Berlin, 2019

Project Year
Production time
2 Weeks
Evelyn Bencicova, Arielle Esther, Joris Demnard (Ikonospace)
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