Ars Electronica Gardens Exhibition

Ars Electronica Garden Sineglossa

And We Thought

Sineglossa (IT)

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Food Data Digestion

What does it mean to be human? What is the difference between things and living beings? And We Thought reflects on these issues by establishing an intimate and collaborative relationship between the artist and a neural language model, Ai Lai, that was trained using a database of trip reports, a genre of diaristic literature focused on psychedelic experiences. The lysergic visions produced as outputs are not so far from the perceptions of reality created by humans’ altered state of consciousness. In the making of the work, the human and artificial minds react to each other’s stimuli, joining forces in the production of hybrid texts, videos and sounds. The paradigm of the human using the machine for their own purposes is abandoned. The imperfect understanding of the world that the algorithm demonstrates works for the human, equally imperfect, as an agitator of thought. The machine mixes concepts and generates alternative realities, causing the artist to produce his own, inspired by an unexpected worldview. Instead of correcting the machine toward efficiency, as we have been doing so far on “Planet A”, the artist and Ai Lai show us new possible forms of cooperation between living and non-living that will prove very useful on “Planet B”, whatever its ecosystem might be.


Sineglossa is a cultural ecosystem based in Italy. We foster new sustainable development models in response to global challenges by applying the processes of contemporary art. As a research center, we shape new methodologies; as a cultural organization, we implement practices by matching artists with universities, public administrations and enterprises aimed at designing solutions that benefit the whole community. Sineglossa is an official partner of the New European Bauhaus.


And We Thought is a project by Roberto Fassone and Ai Lai, produced and curated by Sineglossa, in collaboration with Play with Food. The dataset used for the training of Ai Lai comes from, available in Creative Commons. Food Data Digestion received the contribution of Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo within the fund “ART-WAVES. For creativity, from the idea to the stage.”