Digital literary texts presented at the event at the Polet Art District in Belgrade were created during a workshop which was also part of the Art + Science Conference. Poetic texts included ones generated by AI systems, poetry optimised via Google Keyword Planner, and tactical counter-surveillance writing pieces meant to fool emotion recognition engines.
swimming slowly through the interstellar space
the big turtle is coming
with mill hoarfrost
to the sanctuary
in white she clothes the same trees
but it is difficult
We've also created and curated AI-generated aphorisms and slogans:
across the river cross the reason
stop the money and flowers will rise
will you ever turn the living scenes of your misery into an act of your own hands?
Another example of AI-driven poetics are tactical poems, sentences or verses writen or chosen with an intention to fool the automatic emotion recognition engines. Built to recognize emotional content of text, this kind of AI systems are mostly used in the context of digital marketing. I've done extensive research on these algorithms during my studies of informatics and my work on Synesketch. Now the idea was to intentionally confuse these programs – recognizing new poetic sensibilities in such subversive and tactical approaches. Voila:
i am happy but
love is a beacon and saved sailors
it is meaningless to love
poetry is not dead
When text is put into the Google Keyword Planner, the app suggests additional words and phrases you can use to improve and optimize the marketing utility of text. Instead of advertisements, we put various poems and reinterpreted the suggestions as optimized poetry. Here is the optimised version of the poem Poets, originally written by Antun Branko Šimić:
new year greeting cards in rhyme
books for reading
quotes about life
love verses for her
love verses for him
love dedication birthday
Apart from keyword suggestions, Google Keyword Planner also provides information about the cost of words. Here is the commodified version of The Blond Locks, a poem by Miroslav Antić:
Before the workshop and the performance, I've explored these ideas in my TEDx Talk about the future of language at the Mokrin House, Serbia.
In the age of network any text is first and foremost: 1) data; and 2) a digital commodity. For global techno-linguistic capital, as prof. Frederic Kaplan explains, words are mere indexes of products and services. Why not use these techno-economic constraints as artistic and poetic constraints? New media regimes call for new poetic practices – dataism instead of dadaism.