School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe presents a five-week live online program exploring code, literature, and machine learning.
How do we integrate machine learning algorithms into our poetic practice?
/ Five-week Live* Online class begins 26. April, ends 24. May
/ Every Monday, 8pm-10pm, CEST
/ Small class of participants
The class aims to merge three different universes: code, literature, and machine learning. We will descend into this Bermuda Triangle of disciplines with a poetic, speculative, and conceptual approach, as well as a technical perspective.
What is the difference between writing with code and writing with text? Is code a new material? What are electronic literature and code poetry? How far the-rabbit-hole can computers take us?
At the beginning of our voyage, we will gain a poetic perspective on how to write code by submerging ourselves into the technical and speculative aspects of creative programming. We will then explore the conceptual cornerstones to think about literary texts as perception distorting machines. And finally, we will dwell into the dark territory of pre-trained Machine Learning models to enhance our imagination and generate new forms of writing textual organisms.
In summary, this poetic interpretation of computational logic in creative coding and machine learning will allow us to review concepts and engage with tools to convey new meanings to our writing experiences.
In this course, you will be introduced to:
After this month-long program, each participant will have a wide array of concepts and techniques to continue exploring poetic code writing with machine learning alongside their own digital art practice.
Each class will consist of two parts:
Part 1: We will conceptually review a topic while also analyze art pieces that focus on that subject. We will explore and discuss methods, perspectives, and approaches to gather information and inspiration for our work.
Part 2: We will discuss reading material and review code exercises to emulate and transform the art pieces observed into our own project development.
Week 1: A moment to get to know each other
To imagine, reflect, and find poetry in our surroundings, it's essential to take a moment for bonding beyond the screen and break the neverending wheel of production, effectiveness, and stress. We will present ourselves as humans exploring the poetic use of technology and think about us as cultural diplomats practicing radical inclusiveness. There will also be discussions regarding expectations of what you hope to gain from the class and an overview of the workspace, materials, and workflow we will need. We will finally introduce a series of concepts to map out the technical territory we will explore.
Week 2: Code as a poetic material and a creative playground
We will explore an alternate history of code to review different perspectives on computer symbolic manipulation. We will introduce key technical programming language concepts, and develop metaphors to understand the structure of the code snippets we will use. We will also review a variety of code examples and artists to understand what creative programming entails.
Week 3: Literature as a perceptual distortion machine: ostranenie, randomness, indetermination
Considered as the first work of electronic literature, The Love Letter Generator (1952) used Alan Turing's random number generator to create combinatory love letters. Using the Manchester Mark I computer, Strachey, his author, discovered and implemented combinatory literature's fundamental structures. On the other side of the spectrum, Oulipo, a secret and unconventional group founded in 1960, considered that it was not randomness or chance, but the controlled combination between mathematics and language where the future of literature was. They called it potential literature. We will approach different theoretical aspects of literary texts, review critical conceptual notions of electronic literature artworks, and develop our own poetic algorithms.
Week 4: Using Machine Learning to build textual organisms
Conceived as research on recreating the human mind in the 1950s, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have introduced a set of tools to augment our imagination. While doing so, it has also engaged in a path to disrupt the way we potentially make decisions, build knowledge, and represent the world around us. We'll create a conceptual map to understand language-oriented Machine Learning pre-trained models and how to use them in the context of p5.js. At the same, and while gaining technical skills, we will reflect on the implications of introducing Machine Learning algorithms into our writing practice.
Week 5: Expanding our visual territory and show and tell
We will observe the various visual aspects of code and typography while analyzing historical and contemporary artworks. We will visit artists like Muriel Cooper, Stefanie Posavec, Eduardo Kac, Camille Utterback, etc. We will draw inspiration from their work to think about the different visual possibilities to display our algorithmic writing as interactive texts on the web. In the second half of the class we will share the works we've made in class in a final show and tell.
Who is this course for?
This class aims to build a foundation for further artistic development in the areas of electronic literature, code poetry, and creative literary uses of Machine Learning. The course also seeks to build a community of artists, writers, poets, and programmers interested in creative coding, language, and the alternate theoretical approach of code. No experience necessary.
International participants welcome!
The classes are live?*
Classes are 'live' meaning that you can directly interact with the instructor as well as with the other participants from around the world. Classes will also be recorded for playback in case you are unable to attend for any reason. For specific questions, please email info[at]schoolofma.org
Artist / Student (Full Time)*
Generous Supporter Ticket*
We realise we're living in uncertain times. During this time, we are offering a limited number of pay-what-you-can solidarity tickets for this online class. These are reserved for women, POC, and LGBTQ+ who would otherwise be unable to attend. We are a small organisation with no outside funding and like many, we are also in survival mode and we ask you to consider this when making your donation.
Note: Due to the fact that we are receiving way more requests for Solidarity tickets than we can accommodate, we ask that after you have taken 3 that you please purchase a regular ticket in order to make them available to other people. Also, please note that we may send a follow-up email asking you to confirm your eligibility for these tickets. We are trying to make our classes accessible to as many people as possible and greatly appreciate your understanding and support.
Mario Guzman http://www.mario-guzman.com/
Mario Guzman is a researcher and new media artist merging visual performance, web development, algorithmic processes, and robotics with writing exploration. He is interested in bringing code studies, storytelling, and culture together by researching human/non-human interaction and reflecting on the experience of narrating through machines and Artificial Intelligence. For him, writing is a performative action that displays as a meaningful event. Inside this scenario, humans and machines create and negotiate meaning as an interactive experience.
Opportunity by School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe
Project by School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe
Opportunity by School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe
Type: offering / offering
Deadline: Thursday 20 May 2021 at 23:00h