By: Kelly Wu
A sentence that will produce a line of text is not its own sentence at all.
Keywords: AI; oranges; friends; Google; texting
Why think, when the AI can do that for me?
How much of our time should we spend taking selfies, speaking to our devices, making playlists on Spotify, etc.? Hours and hours pass us by in digital space without us even knowing. The sun turns dark after 381 TikToks if you start watching at noon on a summer’s day.
I wanted there to be a consideration of how much we should let the Internet or Internet-generated ideas impact our creative practices, and more importantly our lives. This work is hence an abstract commentary on the intersection between humanity and technology, and our dependence on each other, and how much of our lived experience is lost (or gained?) to digitised space.
For this video, I used the text generation AI on DeepAI.com, whereby inserting one original word or sentence, you could AI-generate an entire paragraph.
I created and inserted the sentence ‘I generate a sentence from my imagination, and the text generator generates sentences and sentences from my sentence from my imagination.’ I was then able to receive a paragraph of nonsense text from the AI. I then took the final sentence of this generated paragraph and inserted it into the AI, creating a loop. I did this a few times and then from the generated text, I selected key themes, and wrote a performance from it all. The original generated texts no longer exist, only the fragments that I selected. There was a lot of chaos to weed out from the content that I actually wanted to use.
The AI was able to successfully generate both ridiculous text and phrases that were oddly profound, such as the title of this piece, ‘A sentence that will produce a line of text is not its own sentence at all.’ Although logically we know that the AI cannot actually think, and just writes via prediction, I think that we cannot help but to suspend out belief sometimes and project sentience onto it. How is a machine able to write so acutely about such human issues?
Moreover, although I was happy to use the DeepAI as a base, I didn’t want it to entirely cloud my own creative process. From my own experience, I find that sometimes consuming generative art can be difficult, as the nonsensical nature of it becomes tiring. I wanted to see if I could combat this by using human ideas. Predecessors of this genre of art, such as the creators of Sunspring and It’s No Game take on AI writing brilliantly, but I just wanted to separate myself from this a little bit. I felt as though if I fleshed it out enough with my own writing that it could feel more like my work, and less like the machine’s.
I am a queer Chinese-British artist currently studying BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins; I specialise in sculpture, performance, and experimental filmmaking. I enjoy exploring themes of queerness, femininity, the human experience, liminal spaces, and the subconscious. Most of my work I make with the intent to give an audience visual pleasure, confusion, or the ability to question why and how they are doing something potentially mundane. I am beginning to form an interest in post-Internet aesthetics and old-new technology.