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Louise Chow Posthuman Romantics Projects

雷, Perfect 脑

Text-based Art by Louise Chow, Post-Human Romantics, February 2021

Creator: Louise Chow
Exhibition: Posthuman Romantics 2021
Published: February 2021
Format: Text based art (ASCII)
Access: Online Document


“My piece is an attempt to explore what it looks like for a machine to try to access the very human notion of romanticism. Originally conceived as a kind of code-poem, the piece morphed into something that was more and more representational, partly because I wondered about what language a powerful AI would even need to use, and if naturally it would drift towards human mind type visualization and pattern matching, as it appears current neural net technology can simulate.

My machine character is creating a sort of artistic formula for the process of consciousness and a sense of the divine arising out of nature and the material. In depicting this as similar to a cycle of seasons, it also involves the idealistic eventually returning to the materialistic.

I learned in the process of creating this piece, that my machine related to nature in a way closer to eastern philosophy, versus the feelings about nature that defined the Romantic movement. It had tried to reach Romanticism but the individualist and humanist underpinnings of the movement were too alien and rang untrue for my character.”

Louise Chow

The Work:

This is an imagining of how a future AI would express a connection to nature and how it would envision the emergence of its consciousness from the material world. This is expressed through ascii art, a bit of made-up english language programming syntax, and chinese characters. Originally conceived as a kind of code-poem, the piece morphed into something that was more and more representational, trying to mix a linear and logical process with something more “romantic” and image centred.

Description of the Work

This is text based art displayed on its own on a web based document. There is a mix of english, programming-esque syntax, and chinese characters, used to make various shapes, most of it loosely representational. This was originally made with asciiflow.com.

Within Post-Human Romantics:

In Conversation with the Curator:

Spoken English with English Subtitles, Transcript below from 0:00-0:12, 3:00-5:22 (Within the video, Louise introduces Vaysha Hirsch Todorovich‘s project first whose project can be here. 0:00-0:32)

[Louise] Hi and welcome! I’m Louise Chow, a Papercut Arcade collective member and I would like to introduce 2 pieces for the Posthuman Romantics exhibition.

[Continues at 3:00]

[Louise]I will now present my piece, 雷, Perfect 脑.

This is an imagining of how a future AI would express a connection to mother and divine nature. I try to achieve this through ascii art, a bit of made-up english language programming syntax, and Chinese characters. Originally conceived as a kind of code-poem, the piece morphed into something that was more and more representational, trying to mix a linear and logical process with something more “romantic”, and more traditionally viewed as artistic. My machine character is creating a sort of loose formula for the process of the material giving rise to the ideal, and then a return to the material, via the cycle of seasons.

[Jon] “Your code poem incorporates various computer languages. To the multilingual posthuman poet, how do the different languages flavour their personal inspiration?”

[Louise] For the purposes of romanticism, sci-fi speculation, and my own limited knowledge of programming syntax, the amount of programming language used in my piece was reduced quite a bit. I would say what programming syntax remains is loosely inspired by Javascript. I imagined the machine departing further and further from what we imagine as a machine language into something that mixed several ways of communication, including representational art, as a way to access a less rational and more romantic ideal. My character was also inspired through what I would call the language of Chinese philosophy and gnostic poetry, struggling to access divine nature through humanity’s conception of the cosmic. The gnostic inspired title is meant to suggest humanity as a demiurgic presence to my AI character.

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