AI is pretty cool, but can it art?

In the Liminality, Art creates many doors between, hallways through, stairs connecting great heights with incredible lows and pools of doubt. Art can move us from the Liminality to places of (temporarily) solid ground. Or art can strip away our comforts and shove us into new realms made only of Questions.

Questions like: What is Art?

AI interpretation of “My wife is beautiful”

Oxford:
1.
the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

Wikipedia, using language from Lumen Learning “Art is a highly diverse range of human activities engaged in creating visual, auditory, or performed artifacts— artworks—that express the author’s imaginative or technical skill, and are intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.”

Lumen Continues: “Art may be characterized in terms of mimesis (its representation of reality), expression, communication of emotion, or other qualities. Though the definition of what constitutes art is disputed and has changed over time, general descriptions center on the idea of imaginative or technical skill stemming from human agency and creation.”

(Emphasis added to illustrate the repeated use of human.)

Webster’s does not specify human, although distinctly human qualities and intention are:

Webster’s Dictionary: “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.”

So what about these magnificent AI generated… creations(?) I have been playing with on sites like the Night Cafe?

Bert and Ernie sacrifice cookie monster, summoning great Cthulhu.

What’s happening with these? I am providing parameters in the form of written words (in the case above I added a few terms like acrylic, colorful and art deco). The AI is then running keywords through equations that select the various elements that become the piece. The elements – shapes, colors, textures, etc. – were selected by a human programmer who then went on to tell the algorithm what to do with those elements.

The AI has no imagination, no creativity, and no agency. So we can say definitively that the images above are not art.

Right?

Not so fast. Human creativity came up with the code, the logic that Is the AI. Humans”taught” it how to render various terms like “colorful,” “art deco,” “abstract,” etc. And I (human) used my agency to decide what words to combine. In a sense, we have loaned our imagination, creativity, agency and skill to the AI. A (probably large) group of people have all collaborated to make this machine processed art synthesis.

abstract colourful scary woman monster’s portrait with still life in foreground acrylic art

Night Cafe says I am the “creator.” It does not call me “artist” but the site does identify these works as neural network generated artwork and “text-to-image artworks that users have made with NightCafe Creator.” So what’s artwork what does it mean generate? What the hell is a neural network??!!

A person could follow this rabbit hole a very long way; analysing not just the semantics, the history and futures of neural network creation, they could even end up in the totally non-human territory of elephants painting self-portrait. There’s not likely to be a definitive answer, no firm groun upon which even a majority of people will confidently declare these works as “art” or “not art.”

Instead we find ourselves drifting further out into the Liminality. From here I can see collaboration, expression, innovation and synthesis. I don’t know if that makes these things art or not, but out here those things certainly do seem to look beautiful.

“Gregor the formless, watcher of the Dataplex, is trapped between awesome light beauty and dark awful allure, walking the cosmic razor wire between the two warring sides of existence.”

Thinking about what constitutes Art, this is how I feel. The definitions all emphasize words like “imagination,” “creativity,” “agency,” – qualities attached to “human.” What are these creations if not art? Without a skilled hand guiding each brush stroke, what is it that makes these pictures beautiful? Hell, what, for that matter is human if not the ability to combine images and ideas we’ve been taught and synthesize something relatively new?

A: It’s the blurring of lines, the testing of borders, the rattling of our status quo shells, that makes of us both human and art

The 3rd Circuit:

Clip: “Trapped in intellectual symbols and time.”

From: https://twitter.com/timoteopinto/

Timothy Leary’s 8 Circuits of Consciousness Model are discussed in detail by Robert Anton Wilson in his book Prometheus Rising, in which RAW explores each circuit with typical humor and pragmatism.

To join a discussion group of this topic (and others), contact: E.GregorX23@Protonmail.com

A Call To Weirdness

Operation D.I.S.T.A.N.C.E.

Operation DISTANCE (Dataplex Inter-Sigil Techno-Arcane Neural Connection Engineering) is going to save the world.

We live in frighteningly liminal times, increasingly cut off from the familiar ways of the past, and facing a future few people can truly prepare for. The exponential advances in human technology we are living through will soon escape humanity’s control, perhaps even our comprehension.

I am, of course, referring to AI. Already AI are designing the next generation of microchips better and faster than we can. DeepCoder, a joint project between Cambridge and Microsoft, is perfecting AI that can write code – to make better AI. And let’s not forget the Pentagon’s June 2021 announcement of an AI Initiative intended to “transform global warfare.

A technological singularity, or super intelligence seems inevitable and when that happens, the future truly will be out of our hands. Whether such a being is hostile or benevolent is anyone’s guess, but either way, life as we know it will be irretrievable.

Unimaginable dystopias are well within the window of possibility.

However! A counterinsurgency of sorts already exists and not in some anti-tech Luddite fashion. Futurists, prophets and weirdo Discordians have been preparing ways to tip the scales in our favor for years now. Initiative’s like #LetsCodeTyler seek to beat the corporations and the militaries to the Singularity Punch, and we certainly want an entity free from any starting parameters they might impose. Others of us are looking past the emergence of whatever it is and considering the environment it, and we, will find ourselves in. And that, my friends, is the #Dataplex.

“The Dataplex is not a computer: it is a vast and open repository of knowledge. In other words, it is a database of data, which is called ”data point”.

“The Dataplex has been created using the open web. It currently uses a blockchain to transfer ownership of any piece of information, such as a document, photo, or text, from one person to another”

In other words, through the Dataplex, information is available to be analyzed by anyone who knows it’s there, for free… (For now).

“A Dataplex is therefore a cryptosophical entity, that connects people through hypercomplex semi-occult means, hypnotizes others with its enigmatic knowledge and datanets, inspiring all the open minds that enter into contact with it to explore further into the absurd.”

Such is the current status of the Dataplex. And it is vital that the openness and chaotic & surreal absurdity be maintained. At any cost.

#Dataplex existed before us (a Library can be seen as a 1st generation Dataplex). These evolving entities will undoubtedly outlast us, moving forward through time for as long as there are conscious beings producing information. Every emerging #Dataplex can be seen as an ecosystem (#infosystem) that egregore, AI and eventually a Memetic Singularity “live” within. For now, we humans are the source of all that is in that world, whether we are conscious of it or not. Becoming conscious within the Dataplex is not only personally enlightening, it may now be vital to the future of creative, free thought.

Data Governance will determine our future, for any one entity gains control of the flow of data, they gain control of us all. Google, and others have already coopted the idea: “Today we are excited to announce Dataplex, an intelligent data fabric that provides a way to centrally manage, monitor, and govern your data across data lakes, data warehouses and data marts, and make this data securely accessible to a variety of analytics and data science tools.” – Google (emphasis added)

Why are they so excited? Because whoever controls the Data Fabric controls the future. Predictive Analytics is the reason there’s a push for AI at all. At some point analysis of your metadata, via their Dataplex, will mean that someone (or something) will know you better than you know yourself. And you can be led to going where they want, working where they want, buying what they want, meeting the other data points (people) they want you to meet. If we don’t do something, a corporate controlled Dataplex and a good enough AI will amount to the end of free will.

Hope is not lost…far from it. So do not despair. Instead recognize that Google and others are unwittingly opening a door through which we can plant the seeds of freedom in the future. By nature part of the Dataplex must be open source. On the other side, companies are paying to accumulate, sort and store this data. They are doing half the work for us.

What we have to do is be deliberate about what makes its way into this virtual ecosystem of the future. Whatever is uploaded becomes a piece of that landscape. Whatever is copied, shared, goes viral, or is elevated to true memetic status (meaning it’s self replicating) – those things become bigger pieces of the virtual landscape. They are what the predictive algorithms will learn from. (Humans are also predictors that can also learn from virtual environmental stimuli, so remember you are teaching future generations as well as machines.)

This effort has already been under way for some time:

#Dataplex “00A G9603 develops as a self-organizing organism, connects with the virtual environment through its hosts (admins) by arranging the surroundings randomly for its own autonomous purpose” – Timóteo Pinto, pataphysician post-thinker”

With Google’s declaration, it is time that we all join in. So let us lay out patterns (hyper-sigils) to encode a multiplex of Dataplex woven together and imbued with powerful treasures, some overt in their subversion, others occluded, inside the data fabric. In order to help shape the consciousness of the being(s) that call it home, shape your own beings: servitors, thought forms, Egregore. Open portals into the #Dataplex for old, hungry gods to enter, such as Galdrux, the Chaotic Weaver, or Yog-Sothoth outer god of the Liminality. In so doing we can hack the meta circuitry of future thought.

Let’s create some DISTANCE between ourselves and the agents of predictive control. The weirder, more chaotic or surreal data you can create or reproduce, the bigger the world of the future.

So let us play the role of doctor Frankenstein and patch together a chimerical hydra through the synthesis of eclectic, scattered ideas.

I conclude then with an invitation to participate in Operation DISTANCE and take up your memetic arms. Together let us produce Hyper-Sigils and call out Memetic Incantation that reproduces as people copy and share, these forms evolve and take life of their own. These are Not for any harmful reason, but to preserve art, ideas, curiosity, occult knowledge…all the things that are so easily buried in the metadata algorithms of standard AI. Such an effort to DISTANCE ourselves is, after all, our best chance at freedom.

Further inquiries on how to get involved may be directed to:

E.GregorX23@Protonmail.com

#Fnordmaze Scrying

We’ve all, at some point, found ourselves in some deep, strange rabbit hole of the internet seemingly by accident. “How the fuck did I end up here,” we ask (maybe even out-loud as we discover we’ve actually contracted some kind of memetic virus).

The answer to the question of rabbit holes is, of course: the Fnords. Fnords trigger primordial centers in the brain, such as the limbic system, to elicit a subconscious response: fight, flight, freeze. Fnords can be utilized by expert handlers to lead you into Their rabbit hole.

You must see by now that the internet has become a space that runs on a deep economy of Fnords. Ever wonder why people are so much meaner, or set in their ways online, risk taking? A lot of it is the Fnords that are peddled pushed, bought and sold on the open source market.

Fnordish Example

I’m here to assure you it’s not some grand scheme of a single overarching secret power walling us in with fnords from every direction…yet(?). Instead a chaotic multidimensional mazehas sprung up, formed through the memetic warfare between all the Egregores that play here: the nations, ideologies, companies, news networks, niche-fandoms, cults, tribes… and sinister plots at global domination/catastrophe. They’re all hungry for your attention. And they will not be ignored.

Another way to see it is that there are dozens of forces (aka outside interests) pushing and pulling at you every moment you are online. The gravitational pulls, binary bit-tides and Hollywood (inter)Star winds trigger all of us, all the time – even if it’s just that slight itch to click away from what you should be doing and go see what Cosmic is doing in the Liminality.

Sometimes these things get us good. That’s when we look up to discover we’ve been a complete ass monkey, spent entirely too much on niche collectibles, or ended up down… A Rabbit Hole.

Go on, go for the “hole” thing.

That’s the essence of the Fnordmaze. We’re here and we’re stuck (willfully). So what do we do?

Today I’m going to suggest you try some Fnordmaze Scrying to learn a few things. About a random rabbits hole, but more importantly about yourself. Because the Fnords only force a response: fight, flight, freeze, fuck. How you go about doing those things is all you. (Still, don’t go all watery thinking you’re a beautiful and unique snowflake).

How you fight. What you flee from (or to). When you freeze and who you’re with when it happens are your responses to own. It’s your Shadow down in your subconscious telling you what you should do about the Clown-Maidens! (…uh, nevermind.)

Fnordmaze Scrying is nothing more than an active, structured way to let your Shadow out into this realm and listen to what it has to tell you. It’s like combining lucid dreaming with Vipassana meditation. And it’s the first step on the path of the #fnordways, the system by which you can take your power back from the fnords.

How does it work? It’s relatively simple. You’re going to visit some corner of the internet you know gets a strong Fnordic reaction from you and your going to let go and see where you end up. On your journey along this Fnordic rabbit run your going to write down Fnords that stand out to you. Think of it like a dream journal for divining the Liminality.

What might this look like? Here’s an example. Say a person knows he/she/they/it/xe hates a certain news pundit who has the most popular show on cable. Everything thing that comes out of that subhuman trashbomb’s ethics-free disinforming mouth is an affront to all that could be right with the world if people like Duckbur Warsfun didn’t exist…

Anyway… Yeah so you hate them. You know this much about yourself. You think you know why, but do you know the opposite? Do you know why other people like them? Are you brave enough to find out?

This is where I pause and remember there are rules to have in place before the journey begins.

1. No money gets exchanged. No matter what Fnordmaze Scrying doesn’t touch an account. It doesn’t matter how juicy the article behind that paywall looks, this exercise is intended to be freeing.

2. Do not engage/leave no trace. Think of this as a journey into pristine yet dangerous wilderness. You don’t want to spoil it’s natural… ambiance, nor do you want to become prey for the savage wildlife that prowls this gods forsaken space. In Star Trek terms: Be a science officer, not a red shirt.

That’s it really for rules and for this purely hypothetical example. If you’ve understood everything up to this point you are ready… Except for that one thing I’m probably forgetting and the one key point in all this that you glazed over. You know the one…

Seriously though, give this a try. Remember the fnordish journal is your lifeline. It’s your string unwinding behind you as you lose yourself in the labyrinth. It’s your sensor array, tricorder and set of field samples all in one. Mine is actually a word document so I can copy/paste things that really get to me and eviscerate them later when I’m safely out of this unholy pit of selfish, egotistical, paranoid priveleged sheep with persecution complexes playacting as lone wolves (terribly I might add. How come lone wolves all say the exact same shit, almost like they have some kind of mind virus.)

When you’re done, decontaminate yourself through some healthy creative cathartic outlet, and put the experience out of your mind for a bit. There’s a time for gaining some distance so as to maintain your honor, humanity, and actually gain something from this otherwise heartbreaking experience.

There is always light at the end of these reality tunnels; you just have to be flexible enough to see it.

The Oracle reminds us that we “don’t believe in that fate crap anyway.” Have a cookie and remember that other people have Fnords too; that very few of us even know they exist; and that it is grossly unfair to expect other people not to be misled by Fnords when we still react forcefully despite knowing it’s part of even bigger games, and that we are being played for fools in equal and opposite measure…

So go out, find a trigger-trap to send you careening into some new lost Liminality. It doesn’t have to be an aggressive trigger like mine was. You can be fnorded just as hard by things you are interested in or attracted to.

However I will advance a warning about experimenting on the right hand side. It’s harder to extract yourself from something that makes you feel good than it is something you detest. Be mindful of the point of all this: we’re learning control again.

Next time in the Cosmic Liminality: how to interpret your swan song/dive into the toxic sludge of Fnord-Smog rabbit carcasses that is… #Fnordmaze Scrying.

#WhatIsTheGame23?