Machine Libertine

Abstract (in English): 

Various forms of computational linguistics and various forms of electronic literature have been aiming to create an algorithm capable of imitating natural human language. The highest Turing test approval for a chatterbot would be impossibility to tell this program from a real person. And therefore, poetry and story generators are often criticized as artificial and in need of further «humanization». In the paper I am going to prove the virtue of producing not human-like computer generated poetry and illustrate my points with the example of Machine Libertine project works.

The perception of something as machine-like is rather relative and depends on the degree to which the medium is explored (early photography was seen to mechanic to be art). Meanwhile the flaw is in this contrast between the ideas of «mechanicity» and «artness», because «natural» has even less rights to be called art. Mechanized writing as such, according to William Winder, is an explicit device of creation. It has been studied by various aleatoric practices and combinatoric experiments of OULIPO; and even traditional poetry is based on unnatural constrains of rhythm and rhyme that separate profane language from poetic.

In itself the two-decade history of the existence of net art and computer generated art aethetics can be seen as legitimization of the practice. Isak Asimov introduces the Rules of Robotics, and one of them suggests: «A robot must establish its identity as a robot». Applied to robotic poetry, this statement proves the necessity and virtue of the manifestation of its mechanic nature. Machine Libertines by the implementation of synthesized MacOs voice and machine translation methods stress the instability of the transformational nature of the video poetry and media art in general.

Machine Libertine is a newly created media poetry group. The main principles of the group are
formulated in the Machine Poetry Manifesto and agree with Eugenio Tisselli's «manifesto about machine poetry. manifesto for the destruction of poets» in pointing out the idea of liberation of the machines from the routine tasks and increasing the intensity of their use for creative and educational practices. The first video poetry piece, created by Machine Libertines, «Snow Queen» is a combination of masculine poetry of hatred («Poison Tree» by William Blake) that is contrasted to female MacOS voice and cubistic video imagery of Souzfilm animation «Snow Queen». Reading in Vicky's voice alters the orignal text's message, adding hopless and clean cold of the icy mechanisity. We are exploring how the text can be transformed by mechanized reading and visualizing it and what are the possible limits of this transmedia play of interpretation.

(Source: Author's abstract, 2012 ELO Conference site)

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Eric Dean Rasmussen