Ronnie Karfiol



War Assistant ︎

︎ Read more on Petach Tikva Museum website

War Assistant inspired by video games, Ronnie Karfiol's computer animation addresses questions of morality and warfare in an era of artificial intelligence. The images of the kite and drone are familiar to us from the constant battles between Israel and Gaza, when, in the summer of 2018, the IDF intercepted kites from Gaza using drones. The kite and the drone are not strange to one another: Until the invention of the drone, the kite was used for aerial photography, especially in the early 20th century. War Assistant is an artificial intelligence entity, that much like the kite and the drone, observes the battle from above. The AI represents a controlling perspective and asks mankind for permission to take over. The work challenges our ruling gaze and that of the machine alike.

War Assistant emphasizes the temptations of new belligerent technology, in the spirit of "pure war," to use a term coined by French philosopher Paul Virilio. "Pure war" is a war that is embedded in everyday life, such as the fighting between Israel and Gaza. It is a low-key war routine, war that survives even in times of peace, accelerating the technological development of the weapon industries.

The title of the work focuses our attention on the virtual war assistant, usually cast in a female gendered voice which is identified with empathy and compassion. Like Siri and Alexa, the assistant verbalizes inanimate objects using algorithm-based AI. Ostensibly intelligent, her interpretation is, in fact, an emotional-manipulative move which distances war by preserving a seemingly moderate battle, rendering it an autonomous enclave, much like computer game simulations. The temptation camouflages the fact that every war, as technological and intelligent as it may be, ultimately has a real impact on our lives.

Commisioned for The Petach Tikva Museum, Israel

Curator: Nohar Ben-Asher
Museum Curator: Maya Klein Ribak

3-screen installation, 6:03min. each, synced.
English Audio with subtitles

3D Rig & Animation: Anna Isayenko Post Effects: Tamar Katz
Soundtrack: Paloma Kop

Special thanks to Eldad Sery and the Petach Tikva Museum Team: Hezi Lavi, Drorit Gur Arye, Bar Yerushalmi and Bar Goren.

ƨɘmiɈ ʞɿɒb ɘʜɈ nI
⸮ϱniϱniƨ ɘd oƨlɒ ɘɿɘʜɈ lliW
.ϱniϱniƨ ɘd oƨlɒ lliw ɘɿɘʜɈ ,ƨɘY
.ƨɘmiɈ ʞɿɒb ɘʜɈ ɈυodA

רוני קרפיול