The nature of consciousness has long fascinated and frustrated artists as much as scientists, from the science-fiction of Philip K Dick to the psychiatric work of RD Laing, and today’s pioneering researchers into artificial minds. In Infinite Lives, Glasgow-based Robbie Thomson performs a kind of live lab experiment, studying bacteria only visible under extreme magnification. These tiny entities are alive, but are they – could they ever be – conscious? Surrounded by weird and fantastical organisms and robotic devices, Thomson’s experiments are transformed into projections which react both to a live electronic soundtrack and to his investigations into the vanishingly tiny complexities of our world and the limits of human consciousness.
“disconcerting, alienating, as though humans were intruding on a world where machines were in control… surrounded by Thomson’s gizmos, you always wondered which one was going to spurt into life next.” theartsdesk.com (UK) on Robbie Thomson’s The New Alps