(Algo)rhythmic Refrains are the first excursion into machine learning, in which I started training artificial neural networks with Eva Hesse’s diaries to have an algorithm creating new entries in the journal. Due to a low training sample size and the method chosen, the results began to resemble the concrete poetry or the poem “Sacred Emily” by Gertrude Stein. The repetition present in poems points to the rhythm evoked by the recurrence of the short phrase as well as its role of a refrain as desisting to become a mere representational work and raising the question Deleuze and Guattari ask: “The T factor, the territorializing factor, must be sought elsewhere: precisely in the becoming-expressive of rhythm or melody, in other words, in the emergence or proper qualities (color, odor, sound, silhouette. . . ) Can this becoming, this emergence, be called Art?”. It also evokes J G Ballard’s short story “Studio 5, The Stars”9 in which machines are writing all the poetry, and the poets are highly ranked in the society, albeit for producing automated poetry. In the further instalment of the project, particularly for the Entanglement: the Opera, the poems were recited by Google’s text-to-speech algorithm, accompanied by the overture from the opera Parsifal by Wilhelm Richard Wagner first premiered in 1882. To avoid and license fees, I was looking for a public domain recordings and found one from 1927 which coincided with the rise of Nazi party to power in Germany. Both the association of Wagner’s music with Nazis as well as the date of the recording give this work the uncanny feeling. It raises the question of whether artificial intelligence (primarily a good old fashioned AI, which possess no embodiment in the real world and is trained in the vacuum) is inherently fascist, or at least has potential to it.
Back to Top