I love imagined futures, especially the ones where we leave our fleshy bodies and live forever inside the machine. You know, the sort of stuff that inspired Elon Musk to start Neuralink - the company that’s exploring how to upload your consciousness to the ‘cloud.’

It’s a fun world to imagine; instead of Googling something, you could browse over and ‘Ask Elon’ instead… Or ask any famous figure anything. Just imagine the flame wars with Barack Obama and Katy Perry locked in eternal battle, arguing over which episode of Family Guy is the best.

But the part I find particularly fascinating? It’s a future that’s already here. All those photos, videos, and words that we upload to the Internet? Someone somewhere is using that information to recreate a snippet of our consciousness. Maybe it’s Facebook trying to anticipate what we’ll buy next. Or perhaps it’s a security agency that’s determined to figure out our ideology. Sure, they’ll use grand buzzwords like “deep learning” and “big data,” but those systems are just making the first low-fi copies of us. The quality is super rough, like listening to Thomas Edison’s first crackly audio recording. But our first digital clones are already here, sealed inside corporate supercomputers.

The transubstantiation station at Space Program 4 is Tom’s take on digital consciousness. He’ll crush up our phones and place them on a red solar barge for Yoda to pilot into an imagined future where we all live forever…

A photo of the red solar barge sculpture created by Tom Sachs and installed at Deichtorhallen, Germany
A close up photo of yoda piloting the red solar barge sculpture created by Tom Sachs and installed at Deichtorhallen, Germany

Photos: Zoe Laughlin

Originally written for the Sachsian Syndicate.

Previously: TGIM 33 - He’s encouraging us down another path, one where we collectively tip the scales toward rebirth. There is nothing stopping us from evolving into something like the Federation from Star Trek, where we heal ourselves, the planet and reach for the stars.