Interview Walkthrough of surfacecollider space for New Art City Festival 2023

I chatted about the New Art City surfacecollider space with the brilliant Sammie Veeler. The work was a part of New Art City Festival 2023.

Python Glossolalia

I’ve been using Python to generate randomly linked syllables to get the computer to speak in tongues. The Python code also selects graphemes that produce click sounds, trills, fricatives, sighs, moans, and groans when spoken out by a computer. The idea is to produce some kind of computer synthesised glossolalia.

Trying to bring life to computer generated text.

Below is a sample…

Btw the TTS is a clone of my voice with modulation on it so it ends up sounding nothing like me. The actual clone is a posh me with a plummy accent.

surfacecollider New Art City space for Six Minutes Past Nine

The surfacecollider space that I was invited to build as part of an online residency with the curatorial platform Six Minutes Past Nine is now live and can be accessed here:

this metaplays Form

this metaplays Form, (2022), was commissioned for the exhibition To Spawn a Door in the Land of Broken Mirrors, which was shown as part of New Art City Festival 2022 and screened at the Mock Jungle exhibition space in Bologna, Italy. The exhibitions were curated by artist and curator Nacoca Ko.

I lie back and shut my eyes. I’m in someone else’s sleeping bag. Trying to force my legs into it is like trying to put your fingers into out-of-shape gloves – where the topology of the inner lining has become misaligned from the outside of the glove. I push my legs through and concentrate on my thoughts. They have become visual. Behind my eyelids I can see colours. They are shifting and shimmering and melting across more than two dimensions. What I’m seeing is a simulation of digital space – one that somehow aligns the physiology of my body and its perceptive capacities with visual imaging machines. They have become the same thing, my body and the computer. Like the backs of my eyelids are computer screens and that space between my body and the screen has dissolved. It’s similar to a psychedelic experience I suppose. Is the computer inside me now? Have I become computational? 

Using the above speculation as a prompt, This metaplays Form (2022) inserts text generated by 2 machine learning models into a slippery 3-dimensional world where computers do our thinking. Computational dreams of the digital subconscious; slimy, slippery images of a data-driven world melt across the timeline, whilst fragments of text, merging in and out of focus, give voice to a back-and-forth conversation between two machine learning models. GPT-3, a natural language AI trained on the Internet before 2019, talks to a second model tuned to generate hybrid texts spliced together from the writings of Katherine Hayles, Donna Haraway, Legacy Russell, Mark Fisher, Vilem Flusser, Deborah Levitt and Brian Rotman amongst others. We can only see small splinters of this conversation – weird phrases generated by this multi-authored model treat written words as icons, largely emptied out of any inherent meaning. Is digital synthesis now so detached – so pure – that the alphabet has become outmoded? This metaplays Form muses upon a cyborg space at the threshold of the screen, which, whilst acknowledging the liquid crystal barrier of the computer display, uses the inner workings of its underlying software and hardware to ruminate on possibilities of techno-otherness.

this metaplays Form from James Irwin on Vimeo.

Elsewhere Node (Notes on Antidepressants) @ HOAX

A page from the surfacecollider (Code becomes Image) project has been selected by HOAX Publication, and is live here now.

Eleswhere Node (Notes on Antidepressants) is a web based artwork combining code generated imagery, text and sound to explore how the shiny-hyper-glossy objects of digital images, which can often feel cold and distant when we look at them, might produce new tacit forms of experience when they collide with personal narratives and tales from the other side of the screen. The soundtrack to the work is a voice recording of recent writing exploring and describing the world as I see it – my personal day to day experiences. The tone and content of the text mirrors and describes my subjectivity as it is affected by antidepressants.

Clouds and Tracks. Transfer 7. Mandy Ure and James Irwin.

for John, (2020), has been released as part of Clouds and Tracks, an audio circular project organised by Jenna Collins, John Hughes and Volker Eichelmann. The recording was released as Clouds and Tracks: Transfer 7 alongside work by Mandy Ure.

You can listen to the track here. The recording begins 14 seconds in…

The Skelf Podcast by Mark Beldan: Episode Six

I spoke to Mark Beldan from the online project space Skelf about ‘You’re in a computer game, Max!’, an exhibition I curated for the platform at the start of the pandemic. You can listen to the podcast here using the player below.

This podcast accompanies the sixth in a quarterly series of exhibitions. ‘You’re in a computer game, Max!’ launched on April 22nd 2020 and was curated by James Irwin, featuring the work of Katriona Beales, Daria Blum, Robert Cervera, Gibson/Martelli, Keiken, Bill Leslie, Jonas Pequeno and Daniel Shanken.

The exhibition will be on www.skelf.org.uk until July 21st 2020, and archived on the site thereafter.

The podcast was written and presented by Mark Beldan and the featured music is by Cleaners From Venus, At Home With Myself.

If you have any questions about the podcast, you can contact podcast@skelf.org.uk

Further links:

Skelf: www.skelf.org.uk

Mark Beldan: www.markbeldan.com

Katriona Beales: http://www.katrionabeales.com/

Daria Blum: https://www.dariablum.com/

Robert Cervera: http://www.robertcervera.com/

Gibson/Martelli: http://gibsonmartelli.com/

Keiken: https://www.instagram.com/_keiken_/?hl=en

Bill Leslie: http://www.billleslie.co.uk/

Jonas Pequeno: https://www.jonaspequeno.com/

Daniel Shanken: http://www.dshanken.com/