Martín Bollati
This Past Does Not Exist

April 11 2024

The publication Hermes/UNESCO by Argentinian artist Martín Bollati uses AI to mash up ages, geographies and traditions, creating virtual artifacts indistinguishable from historical records.

Just as our imagination of sunken empires are based on the rescued records, the image we leave to future generations will be based on the data we leave behind. The future is thus not only post-truth as often described, but in a sense also a reality without a past, as hindsight leaves only a shimmering hallucination. But perhaps it has always been that way.

However, these considerations are based on the assumption that humanity itself will continue to exist, for our digital traces are highly ephemeral without our presence.