Checking into Luke Nairn’s dystopian present with these darkly banal accounts of daily life

, 23 January 2017

“The next eight hours consists of the following,” says the pitched-down voice of London-based artist Luke Nairn‘s ‘Are they names if they’re randomly generated’, regularly, throughout the seven short voice recordings uploaded to Soundcloud, every day for the past week. It’s part of a project for Floating Reverie‘s //2WEEKS digital online residency programme, in which artists are invited to respond to the brief and ‘check-in’ online once a day, every day, for 14 days, once a month: “You have 2 weeks. 14 days. 336 hours. 20160 minutes.”

In keeping with this stringent ‘always on’ mentality that’s a symptom of the modern Internet Era, Nairn’s durational audio work — running from January 18 to 31  — presents the same robotic vocal recording carefully accounting for, and controlling, every action of its listener via ongoing, realtime instructions. 

From looking up dreams and sending a late-to-work notification first thing in the morning in ‘Part I,’ to taking music suggestions in ‘Part II’ (above), the life of the computer program’s user is dictated by this intelligent personal assistant, while becoming more and more disconnected and alienated from one’s surroundings: “Reminder: pick up presents for D.”

“Consume content from three devices simultaneously,” the assumed app demands, while every movement by its listener is instructed. The work is informed by philosopher Willem F.G. Haselager, and his writing on robotics and autonomy; science fiction literature and political discourse, and features identical artwork on every Soundcloud upload of a drone-delivered pizza. It’s additional ubiquitous dictation microphone motif points to a world where interpersonal, human interaction has become secondary, if not having disappeared completely. “Arrived at destination.”**

Presented by Floating Reverie, Luke Nairn’s ‘Are they names if they’re randomly generated’ durational project is online, running January 18 to 31, 2017,