Saturday, 18 March 2023

States of Independence (2023)

I went to States of Independence in Leicester today. I caught up with D.A. Prince and Roy Marshall (both as charming as ever), and went to some talks. Most interesting was one about AI and creativity.

  • Simon Perril looked at the history of creativity, asking "Is self-expression all there is?". He mentioned Chatterton, Dada, Oulipo, Flarf, found poetry etc. I hadn't seen "Tree of Codes" by Jonathan Safran Foer. Curation, recycling, and re-contextualing have always been part of the tradition (moreso in pre-copyright times - often the norm). What happens when writers put together pre-existing phrases rather than pre-existing words?
  • Prof Tracy Harwood followed this up by showing milestones in the progression of AI - Lovelace, Turing, Deep Blue - then concentrated on art and writing. The art examples especially impressed me. Photoshop-like effects are where the style/content separation ideas took off. Some artists using AI describe the results as collaborations, which is fair enough.

Before, I passed an axe-throwing place near the city centre. After, I visited West End (Narborough Road) for the first time. I didn't know it existed. I've only gone along the Golden Mile before. I wasn't hungry but next time I am, I'll know where to go.

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