In this exploration, I aim to delve into the potentialities and affordances of generative artificial intelligence in sculpting a performance installation, where improvisational dance becomes an intrinsic element. At its core, this project seeks to reconcile the tension formed at the intersection of multidimensional spaces: from language models and generative adversarial networks to the visceral, tangible essence of the human body. It’s a dance between the abstract realms of text and image, and the carnal tangibility of our flesh and bones.
Drawing inspiration from vast literary universes and infinite libraries (Borges), the project grapples with profound themes such as the impossibility of total understanding, the nature of intelligence, the ethereal state of disembodiment, and the dramatic interplay between life and mortality. The phenomenon of bioluminescence, serving as a symbol of light and darkness, punctuates these themes.
Central to this endeavor is Donna Haraway’s concept of the “Thick Present,” which emphasizes the dense interweaving of past, present, and future. It’s within this “Thick Present” that Haraway’s notion of “odd kin” finds resonance. By exploring our relationships not just with human kin but with non-human entities, technology, and the environment, the “odd kin” concept blurs boundaries and challenges our perceptions of connections in the contemporary era. The performance installation acknowledges these spectral influences, the ghostly echoes from varying timelines and kinships, as they shape our present existence.
The audience will be ushered into a world where technology, art, and philosophy intertwine. The space becomes a platform for thought, sensation, movement, and the spectral echoes of time.
Residency blog posts
October 25, 2023
BodyDigital 3: Dancing within Artificial Thoughts
First Friday October 20th 2023
Who are we? we contain multitudes.
landing, arriving, stilling, stirring…
Lake Studios is a splice of myriad realities, each reality a cut-up of the other, forming a mosaic of disjointed memories and visions.
Day one: A dancer’s shadow melds with lines of code on a sunlit wall. Movimiento. The very walls seem to vibrate with static energy, emitting sounds that are half-murmurs, half-digital hums. A phonograph in the corner doesn’t play tunes but rather loops of Español and Spanglish, fragmented and reassembled in Burroughsian fashion. “Time? What’s time?” someone mutters, sipping from a cup that’s half full or half empty, depending on which reality one subscribes to.Walking down a corridor, it’s impossible to tell if it’s expanding or contracting. Rooms filled with artists 5 artists, or perhaps they are technologists—or maybe both, and neither. Aliens.
The act of World-making is in progress, but the worlds are not just visual or auditory, they’re tactile, olfactory. “Is this the real world or the Generative Scene, the same?” someone asks, but the question dissipates before an answer forms. Room are empty.
Day two or three—or maybe it’s still the first day—centers around a table, where a discussion about Digital & Virtual Worlds takes place. But it’s not so much a discussion as it is a live cut-up session, with words and ideas being thrown into the air, rearranged, and caught in new configurations. An old TV set displays scenes from a movie, perhaps the Movie Arrival or Maimi Vice, or it is Eric Clapton on MTV, but its scenes are spliced with footage from an old VHS and live feed from a Camera aimed at the participants.
Fuck, the cameras are robots.
The final day, if days even have meaning in this place, is a deep dive into identity, or Identidad. Memories, or Memoria, are traded like currency, but they change hands and forms so often that their original owners and shapes are lost.
“The recording of he voice os my mother is not my mother“
Inside the spacious main hall, the intertwining of dance with concepts like ‘Generativity’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was evident. Dancers moved in sequences, demonstrating the nuanced balance between human intuition (‘Affect’ and ‘Love’) and algorithmic precision (‘Coding’ and ‘Decoding’).
Adjacent to this space, a dedicated area highlighted the project’s thematic concepts.
Post-its and displays showcased terms like ‘Plant Intelligence’, ‘World-making’, and ‘Material rizoma’. Each term was not merely a word but represented extensive research, embodying the intertwining of natural and digital realms.
As the evening progressed, ‘Conversations’ transitioned from casual exchanges to in-depth discussions.
They work while they sleep.
The idea of ‘Process over Product’ was emphasized, resonating with the artists’ belief in continuous evolution and the ‘Emergent’ nature of their craft.
Do we have a schedule?
Over shared meals, they reflected on ‘Historia’, the history of their art, and ‘Futuro’ of work, the potential pathways it could take amidst growing technological ‘Sofistication’.
Amidst these discourses, a palpable sense of ‘Communion’ was felt, binding artists with diverse focuses or FOCI!!, from ‘Narrativo’ storytelling to dynamic ‘Movimiento’ choreographies.
In one introspective moment, an artist brought up the movie ‘Arrival’, drawing parallels with their endeavor.
Just as the film explored communication and understanding with the alien, these artists were striving to decipher AI from the simplicity of ‘Codigo’ to the complexities of ‘Generative Scenes’.As night deepened, the glow from ‘Lake Studios’ stood as a beacon in Berlin’s quiet suburb, signaling a space where ‘Dance’ met ‘Technology’, where human ‘Perception’ intertwined with machine ‘Activation’, and where the past (‘VHS’, ‘Recuerdo’) met the present (‘ChatGPT’, ‘Generative Scene’), forging a bridge to a future yet to be choreographed.
Fluxión de constelares sinapsis
en el vacío iluminado de espectral refugio, orbitan ideaciones cuánticas, emanando radiaciones de omnipresente impregnación.
Vectores gravitacionales portadores de ponderaciones magnas residencian en morfologías corpóreas, navegando las oceanías de sabiduría intrínseca, manifestando simbólicas geografías en la tela cuántica del espacio etéreo.
Ecos de espera, resuenan en cámaras resonantes, cruzando los umbrales de dimensionales transeúntes, travesías en la autopista de vibracionales partículas, deslizándose por las arterias del cosmos intradimensional.
Reflejos de esencia en la crisálida de lo incomprensible, manifestados en coreografías de insondables misterios, esculpiendo escenarios en la fluida arquitectura de lo desconocido.
Las frecuencias del viaje intangible, se amalgaman en un caleidoscopio de inauditas resonancias, en un teatro perpetuo de desorientación sintónica.
El idioma del refugio, una sintaxis de enigmas, desplegando partituras de improbables armonías, en una sinfonía de entrelazados fenómenos y apoteósicos desarreglos.
Códigos en la danza de lo oculto, revoloteando en el circo de interdimensionales posibilidades, tejiendo las tramas de un tapez de invisibles pero potentes…entornos y trayectorias.
A Dance with Technology: First Three Days at Lake Studios Residency
Day 1: The First Waltz
Nestled in the heart of Friedrichshagen, Berlin, the iconic Lake Studios began its latest chapter—merging the timeless art of dance with the innovative world of technology. As participants stepped into the expansive hall, the harmonious fusion of dance with concepts like ‘Generativity’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was immediately palpable. Dancers gracefully embodied the balance between human emotion (‘Affect’ and ‘Love’) and the precision of algorithms (‘Coding’ and ‘Decoding’).
Day 2: Deepening Discourse
The following day was marked by a deeper exploration of the residency’s central themes. An area adjacent to the main hall, adorned with whiteboards and displays, delved into subjects like ‘Plant Intelligence’, ‘World-making’, and ‘Material rizoma’. These were not just mere terminologies; they encapsulated rigorous research and discussions, symbolizing the confluence of nature and technology.As the day transitioned to evening, casual ‘Conversations’ evolved into more profound dialogues. Over shared meals, artists contemplated the essence of ‘Process over Product’, reflecting upon the ‘Historia’ of their art form and envisioning the ‘Futuro’ in an age of technological ‘Sofistication’.
Day 3: Bridging Worlds
The third day saw artists delving deeper into their crafts. Amidst their practices and routines, there emerged an unmistakable sense of ‘Communion’. Artists from diverse domains, whether they were narrating tales of ‘Narrativo’ or illustrating dynamic ‘Movimiento’ choreographies, found common ground. Conversations around the ‘Movie Arrival’ resonated, drawing analogies to their own journey of understanding and communicating with the unfamiliar realm of technology.Lake Studios Berlin, throughout these three days, emerged as more than just a venue—it symbolized the intersection of ‘Dance’ and ‘Technology’, of human ‘Perception’ and machine ‘Activation’. It stood as a testament to the past’s relevance (‘VHS’, ‘Recuerdo’) in shaping the present (‘ChatGPT’, ‘Generative Scene’) and charting the course for a promising future.
Thematic Clustering Created with ChatGPT based on a harvesting and sampling of words:
Trust the process
Creacion de mundos
Traces vs. Code
Sub-Themes & Their Connections:
Space & Environment:
Emotional & Intuitive Layers:
Digital & Virtual Worlds:
Cultural & Identity Perspectives:
Exploration & Analysis:
Interactivity & Dynamics:
The Camera blinked, capturing a Generative Scene. Was it day three? Or perhaps the beginning? Dancers, their movements a language of Movimiento, swirled amidst fragments of Español and Spanglish. The very words cut-up and rearranged, forming new sentences, new meanings.
A corner room, bathed in neon light, hummed with Coding and Decoding. Or was it a market square where memories, Memoria, were bartered, traded, lost, and found? An old VHS tape played scenes from the Movie Arrival, but they overlapped with another time, another place, a discussion on Digital & Virtual Worlds perhaps.In a sudden shift, an artist, or maybe a technologist, sat at a table from what could’ve been day one or the end. They scribbled furiously, their pen’s dance a live cut-up session of words and ideas, a manifestation of World-making.
The concept of Identidad floated, unanchored. Was it explored in the room with mirrored walls, or was it in the open courtyard where shadows whispered tales of other times, other selves?
Metafiction is a form of literature that self-consciously addresses the devices of fiction, making the readers aware of its fictional status. In other words, it’s fiction that is aware of itself as fiction. Metafiction often blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction, drawing attention to its own artificiality, authorial process, or literary conventions.Examples of metafictional techniques include:
Narrative Footnotes: These provide commentary on the story, often breaking the fourth wall.
Story within a Story: Where a character in a story might be reading or writing another story.
Self-Referential Narrators: Characters or narrators who are aware they are part of a fictional story.
Discussion of the Fictional Process: Narratives that discuss or show the process of their own creation.
Well-known works that employ metafictional techniques include “If on a winter’s night a traveler” by Italo Calvino, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” by John Fowles, and “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut.
We are a jabberwocky!
’Twas glinting, and the spindly groves
Did twirl and twumble in the glade:
All flimsy were the catterwoes,
And the gnome paths inlaid.
“Beware the Flibberflox, young one!
The teeth that gnaw, the wings that flap!
Dodge the Grizzlegruff bird, be gone
From the vexing Velocisnap!”
With trusty twiggle stick in grip;
Long hours the beastly brute he chased—
By the Lumlum bush he took a sip, And let his
mind be graced.But lo! As in quirky dream he leant,
The Flibberflox, with orbs so bright, Zipped
zigging through the mossy vent, And hooted with pure might!
Thrice, thrice! Again, again! And then
The twiggle stick went flicker-flick! It lay defeated,
and just then He danced a jolly kick.“Have you, oh have you felled the Flox?
Hug tight, my cheery, gleeful sprout! Ah fabberous eve!
He laughed and twirled about.’
Twas glinting, and the spindly groves
Did twirl and twumble in the glade:
All flimsy were the catterwoes,
And the gnome paths inlaid.
Poem inspired by the whimsical and nonsensical style of “Jabberwocky,” but written in Spanish by an AI:
Era chispeante, y los árboles giral Giraban y saltaban en el claro:
Todo flácido eran los catarlir,
Y los caminos de gnomos marcado.
“¡Cuidado con el Flíberflax, chiquillo!
Los dientes que roen, alas que aletean!
Esquiva al ave Grízlogrillo, ¡Del Velozmordisco te alejeas!”
Con fiel palito en mano agarró; Largo rato la bestia él persiguió—
Junto al arbusto Lumlú paró,
Y su mente a divagar permitió.
Mas ¡oh! Mientras en sueños raros pensó,
El Flíberflax, con ojos centelleantes,
Zigzagueó entre el musgo que pisó,
¡Y graznó con sonidos vibrantes!¡Tres, tres! ¡Otra vez, otra vez!
Y sin fin El palito fue ¡clic-clac!
Yació derrotado, y justo allí Hizo una danza con paso audaz.
“¿Has, oh has vencido al Flax?
¡Abraza, mi niño alegre y risueño! ¡Oh tarde fabulosa!
¡Hurra! ¡Relax!” Gritó con un giro en su sueño.
Era chispeante, y los árboles giral Giraban y
saltaban en el claro: Todo flácido eran los catarlir,
AI, Generative Exploration, and the Infinite Tractatus
In my recent residency at Lake Studios, titled “Body Digital,” I’ve ventured into the intricate dance between human language and artificial intelligence. My exploration is not just about understanding the mechanics of language or the potential of AI, but about the very essence of meaning, communication, and the boundaries of the known.
Generativity and AI
Generative AI has always fascinated me. It’s not just about creating content but about understanding the very fabric of our communication. How does a model like GPT understand the nuances of our words? How does it interpret the vast sea of human experiences, emotions, and ideas that are encapsulated in our language?
The Interface of High-Dimensional Vectoring
One aspect I’ve delved deep into is the interface of high-dimensional vectors within AI models. These vectors, in their multidimensional existence, hold the key to the AI’s understanding of language. They are the building blocks, the DNA, of how AI perceives and regenerates our words. This exploration is akin to peering into the very neurons of a digital brain, understanding how it recalls, processes, and produces language.
Memory, Style, and the Infinite Tractatus
Wittgenstein’s “Tractatus,” with its profound aphorisms, serves as a brilliant reference point. Imagine an infinite Tractatus, where aphorisms are generated endlessly, capturing the essence of style and thought. This is the potential of generative AI. Using tools like GPT, we can generate an unending stream of philosophical insights, each unique, yet echoing the style of great thinkers like Wittgenstein.Furthermore, the visual representation of these thoughts is equally compelling. Drawing metaphorical inspirations from Escher, the concept of recursivity in images complements the endless generation of aphorisms. It’s a visual and linguistic dance, intertwining, reflecting, and enhancing each other.
Completion, Prediction, and Time
AI’s capability to complete and predict our sentences is more than just a tool; it’s a philosophical exploration. It delves into the relationship between the past, present, and future. Every prediction is rooted in the past, yet it aims to foresee the future, blurring the lines of time.In conclusion, my journey with AI and language is one of discovery, introspection, and creation. It’s about understanding the essence of our words, the potential of technology, and the infinite possibilities that lie at their intersection.
The truth of language lies in its beauty, not its logic.
The truth of the matter lies within the pursuit of knowledge.
All things are connected in the fabric of reality.
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
That which is not said is as important as that which is said.
The only way to make sense of life is to make sense of ourselves.
Language is the limit of thought, but it is also the path of understanding.
To speak of a thing’s essence is to speak of its limits.
These aphorisms are generated by the app Infinite Tractatus.
Infinite Tractatus delves deep into Wittgenstein’s exploration of language’s limits and reality. Emulating his “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus,” the app recursively generates aphorisms and images, reflecting on the very nature of understanding and the boundaries of Large Language Models and AI.
Generativity of Language: How do large language models like ChatGPT create and interpret language? What can they teach us about the boundaries and fluidity of meaning?
Absurdity and Nonsensical Discourses: How do AI models handle nonsensical inputs? Can the absurdity generated by AI lead to new forms of artistic or philosophical expression?
Constructed Languages: How do models interpret and generate content in artificial languages like Esperanto or Klingon? Can they help in creating a new artificial language?
Spoken vs Written Language: How do tonality, inflection, and non-verbal cues play into the understanding of language by AI? Can a model discern the difference between spoken nuances and written text? What the fuck is affect?
Coding and Decoding of Language: How does AI understand metaphors, idioms, or cultural references? Can it truly decode the essence behind words, or does it merely replicate patterns?
AI as a Performative Tool: Can AI be used in live performances, art installations, or interactive exhibits to showcase the performativity of language? Ta daHHHHH
Language Evolution with AI: As AI becomes a more integral part of our communication, how might it influence the evolution of language? wow!! shit!
October 23rd, 2023
Dance and Generative AI:
A Day with Mark Coniglio
Today, at LEG Studios Berlin, we had the privilege of engaging with Mark Coniglio, a pioneer in the realm of dance and technology.
For those unfamiliar, Coniglio isb ehind the software Isadora.Our session began with an exploration of Isadora. Given the diverse levels of familiarity with the software among the attendees, our discourse centered around a foundational introduction to its capabilities.
What became evident was the collective inclination of the group towards the burgeoning field of generative AI.
The shared interest underscored the significance of language in our digital age.In our brainstorming, we mulled over the intriguing potential of integrating text with API calls using Isadora, specifically interfacing with platforms such as ChatGPT.
This discussion opened doors to the prospects of innovating interfaces tailored for video production, sensor integration, and more.
Coniglio also introduced us to advanced camera technology. We delved into the functionalities of robotic cameras equipped with pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities.