Does the Earth dream? Can our dreams mesh? In The Wandering Mind, the pervasive sensing, fiber and neural networks covering our planet meet us in our sleep, drawing source material from vast online stores of field recordings and sensor data. For this year’s festival, we ask our AI to dream in the sounds of water and currents, retelling the myth of Tiamat, the sea mother whose life takes a tragic turn when her rebellious children seek power. The story mirrors our modern relationship with Earth’s oceans.
The Wandering Mind
In dreams, we become free of the unrelenting coherence waking life imposes; free to sink into the swamps of planetary perception. The Freudian dream-work finds its match in a class of self-supervised AIs, neural networks tasked to learn concise representations of raw data, and whose operation hinges on a kind of iterative, suffusing imagination.
For this year’s festival, we paint a dream with sounds of water and currents: a retelling of the myth of Tiamat, the sea mother whose life takes a tragic turn when her rebellious children seek power. The story mirrors our modern relationship with Earth’s oceans.
The listening experience is shared online. Though we may remain confined to our homes, our minds are always free to wander. We recommend settling into a darkened, comfy corner. Consider synchronizing your nap with a distant friend to share the dream.
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
slow immediate (Gershon Dublon & Xin Liu)
European ARTificial Intelligence Lab
Ars Electronica Futurelab, Linz
Muntref Centro de Arte y Ciencia, Buenos Aires
Laboratorio de Neurociencia de la Universidad Torquato Ditella, Buenos Aires
slow immediate is the creative studio of artists and electrical/mechanical engineers Gershon Dublon and Xin Liu. To them, immediacy to the self and the environment is centrally important to being human on this shared planet. slow immediate is a member of the New Museum’s NEW INC and ONX Studio, and a recipient of the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab residency. Their recent VR film, Living Distance, explores an individual’s place in the cosmos, and is a 2020 Official Selection at Sundance.