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.

Here is an example of an artificial poem written by an AI system based on Markov Chains and Recurrent Neural Networks, translated into English:

swimming slowly through the interstellar space
the big turtle is coming
with mill hoarfrost
to the sanctuary
in white she clothes the same trees
no silence
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
(recognised positive)

love is a beacon and saved sailors
(recognised negative)

it is meaningless to love
(recognised positive)

poetry is not dead
(recognised negative)

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
book suggestions
love verses for her
love verses for him
sad quotes
love dedication birthday
beautiful sentences

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:



00.00 rsd
25.34 rsd
00.00 rsd
11.15 rsd
00.00 rsd
25.34 rsd
16.21 rsd
00.00 rsd
84.11 rsd

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.

This type of work references diverse cultural practices, ranging from the work of Zenitists and Oulipo to projects of contemporary authors such as Kenneth Goldsmith, Adam Harvey, and Pip Thornton.