Memories Like Hurricanes

Charlie Stein’s exhibition, Memories like Hurricanes, alludes to the image of a hurricane as a metaphor for Artificial Super Intelligence. The humanoid women she depicts are equally terrifying and fetishistic. However misshapen and tortuous they look, Stein recreates them almost lovingly—as though the presence of the artist’s hand could stave back the rising tide of transhumanism. To the extent that Stein’s robots evince all the cultural signifiers of femininity, Stein’s AI robots are wayward. Their physiques, the ideal of sexuality they incarnate, should be in every way superior to human reality; and yet, in their extreme remove from biological life, they’re monsters. In many respects, this kind of violence, the alienating unreality which undercuts Stein’s portraits, perfectly mirrors her authentic subject-matter: the expressive capacities of of AI, which are also featured in a poem on view that was composed by Chat GPT. Stein’s algorithmically generated works recreate rather than transcend the conscious life of human beings. The perceptual flaws constructed into their appearance are expressive of a radical cleavage between human and artificial intelligence, which can never fully experience what it means to be human, yet still attempts to do so by way of suggestive mimicry.

(Jeffrey Grunthaner, in: Whitehot Magazine 2023)