Beyond the Arty Bots family of Twitter bots, I’ve also exhibited in galleries.
New Flock was a collaboration with Joel Matthys and exhibited at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI. My part of the contribution began by writing eight poems about birds. Then I used a computer program I wrote to procedurally generate line art of birds in a style inspired by Charley Harper. I generated QR codes which encoded the poems and presented a unique bird in the center of each. I then used an AxiDraw pen plotter to draw the QR codes “by hand,” exploring the intersection of the natural and the technological. Joel’s nest, in the center, played a composition which blended birdsong and mechanical noises, and the physical nest had electronic components such as resistors and wires woven into it. Joel and I are very interested in how technology can infuse other experiences, including the natural world, and what is lost and gained by doing so.
Our previous show, Open Circuits (2019), was also a collaboration. Joel’s primary background is as a musician and mine is as a writer, and we’re both interested in computer collaboration in a variety of media.
We exhibited nine total works, many of which were direct collaborations. Some of my favorites are:
Torch Sung. An AI exhibit featuring no fewer than four genres of media. Five poems co-written with AI were printed on vinyl scrim and hung. These poems were then fed to a different AI which “painted” an image based on the words. These images were printed on canvas and hung alongside the poems. Data from the images was also used to play music available via listening stations at each work. On top of the listening stations were 3-D printed sculptures constructed using parameters from the poems.
Seven Broken Mysteries. The “live” version of Torch Sung. Visitors turned dials on a 1949 Silvertone radio to change words on a nearby screen to write a brief two-line poem. The poem is then painted using the same AI as was used in Torch Sung. The words selected also generated sounds played back through the radio’s original speaker.
Second Person Shooter. A simple 2-D shooting game with an integrated webcam. You control a generic 16-bit RPG character who must wander around the screen and kill live-feed instances of … yourself. Written in Processing.