Directed by: Mary Flanagan
Metaphysical Reclamations is an experimental short created entirely with raw AI-Generated imagery. To create the video I rendered nearly one hundred thousand unique images related to city centers and skyscrapers fused with natural scenes and trees. My aim is to consider the anthropocene by collaborating with an artificial intelligence. I engineer prompts that draws from a pattern language determined by word-to-image keyword associations culled from massive datasets for AI training, and whatever results I have gotten -- sometimes cut short because I was pushed off shared machine cycles for Silicon Valley projects. As a tactician interested in the collaborative process of working with code as a form of speculative research practice, I aim to document trajectories, good and bad matches, bizarre sequences, errors and glitches and render these in time based media. The sounds emerge from a variety of natural and technologically mediated sources. I work with machines as collaborators to imagine the future and produce speculative possibilities in the rapidly changing anthropocene. As someone who has always questioned any hard distinction between the natural and the artificial, my goal is to move beyond these binaries towards envisioning forms of future interdependence. I am fascinated by the practice of ancient trees being used as landmarks the way we often see human-made architectures in city centers as landmarks marking the sky above. I combine these two different markers of place in this video. I am interested in looping the collaborative process, creating productive feedback with new technologies. Commissioned by the Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University for the installation “Metaphysical Reclamations: The Metropolis Project,” opening Sept 16 2022.