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Avatars, Algorithms and Semantic Panache


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Yesterday we held a conversation with the artists event at Turing Gallery in Extropia. It was really great to have some of the artists from the exhibition, Systems of Existence talking about their work.

Here is transcripts from the talk:

[2012/12/01 12:01]  Gracie Kendal: HEya Alan 😀

[2012/12/01 12:01]  wirxli2: spare me a coffee, Gracie? Hi Alan 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:01]  1 (jo.ellsmere): Hey Alan 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:01]  wirxli2: I thought you would wear more, Alan 😉

[2012/12/01 12:01]  wirxli2: what are you, some kind of Minimalist? 😉

[2012/12/01 12:01]  Gracie Kendal: haha no its cool ã‹¡

[2012/12/01 12:01]  1 (jo.ellsmere): some underwear, at least!

[2012/12/01 12:01]  1 (jo.ellsmere): ;))

[2012/12/01 12:02]  Alan Dojoji: Hi Jo! – no, this is just the dissected cube with Tibetan imagery

[2012/12/01 12:02]  Gracie Kendal: LOL

[2012/12/01 12:02]  1 (jo.ellsmere): 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:02]  wirxli2: it is very “you”, Alan

[2012/12/01 12:02]  wirxli2: 😉

[2012/12/01 12:02]  Gracie Kendal: Philos!!! Good to see you again :))

[2012/12/01 12:02]  wirxli2: Hi Philos

[2012/12/01 12:02]  Alan Dojoji: too much me!

[2012/12/01 12:02]  wirxli2: never enough you

[2012/12/01 12:03]  Philos Kidd: Hi Gracie

[2012/12/01 12:03]  Philos Kidd: Hi everyone

[2012/12/01 12:04]  wirxli2: Hey Sunflower 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:04]  Gracie Kendal: I always love yoru avi Philos ã‹¡

[2012/12/01 12:05]  wirxli2: 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:05]  Philos Kidd: 🙂 @ Gracie

[2012/12/01 12:05]  1 (jo.ellsmere): Hi Selavy 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:05]  Gracie Kendal: Heya Selavy ã‹¡

[2012/12/01 12:05]  wirxli2: Howdy Selavy 😀

[2012/12/01 12:05]  Selavy Oh: hey everyone 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:06]  Philos Kidd: hi

[2012/12/01 12:06]  wirxli2: Hi Philos 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:06]  Gracie Kendal: I think just missing Erik. Wirxli have you heard from him at all?

[2012/12/01 12:07]  wirxli2: I saw him in RL last night…we were at an event together

[2012/12/01 12:07]  Gracie Kendal: haha oh cool

[2012/12/01 12:07]  wirxli2: he said, he might notmake it but he will try

[2012/12/01 12:07]  Gracie Kendal: ahhh ok

[2012/12/01 12:07]  Alan Dojoji: are there events in real life?

[2012/12/01 12:07]  Alan Dojoji: can we join?

[2012/12/01 12:07]  wirxli2: it is a bit early for him

[2012/12/01 12:07]  Gracie Kendal: LOL

[2012/12/01 12:07]  Gracie Kendal: OMG RL what is that?

[2012/12/01 12:07]  wirxli2: heheheh…wished you were there in RL, Alan…come visit your brother ASAP 😉

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Alan Dojoji: hope so!

[2012/12/01 12:08]  wirxli2: Alan, how about a seat? can you fit? lol

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Gracie Kendal: Alan do you want to come up to the front

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Gracie Kendal: hhe

[2012/12/01 12:08]  1 (jo.ellsmere): lol

[2012/12/01 12:08]  wirxli2: I think Alan needs 2 seats..kind of like an airplane..lol

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Gracie Kendal: I can move that over

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Selavy Oh: hey alan 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Gracie Kendal: He wanted to be close to you Selavy 😀

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Alan Dojoji: Hi!

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Alan Dojoji: I should get rid of this stuff…

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Selavy Oh: :)))

[2012/12/01 12:08]  Gracie Kendal: no its cool

[2012/12/01 12:09]  Alan Dojoji: ok if it bothers anyone let me know –

[2012/12/01 12:09]  Gracie Kendal: ok ã‹¡

[2012/12/01 12:09]  wirxli2: aesthetics never bother me

[2012/12/01 12:09]  Alan Dojoji: better that we bother aesthetics

[2012/12/01 12:09]  wirxli2: I like to be bothered by aesthetics

[2012/12/01 12:10]  Gracie Kendal: well lets get started

[2012/12/01 12:10]  wirxli2: okie dokie

[2012/12/01 12:10]  Alan Dojoji: ok

[2012/12/01 12:10]  wirxli2: wb Sunflower 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:10]  Alan Dojoji: Hi Sunflower

[2012/12/01 12:11]  sunflower Aichi: hello

[2012/12/01 12:11]  Gracie Kendal: Thank you so much for being here Sunflower and Relay. If you would like to join into the conversation please do. Please feel free to ask questions and add comments anytime…

[2012/12/01 12:11]  Gracie Kendal: Welcome Bear

[2012/12/01 12:11]  Gracie Kendal: at least we have the bots to listen 😀

[2012/12/01 12:11]  1 (jo.ellsmere): ) lots of bots!

[2012/12/01 12:11]  wirxli2: ahhh…my bot could not even afford to attend this one

[2012/12/01 12:11]  Gracie Kendal: haha yep 😀

[2012/12/01 12:11]  Alan Dojoji: the bots are incredible and they really dominate the show i think

[2012/12/01 12:11]  Selavy Oh: maybe we should bring in more bots

[2012/12/01 12:11]  Gracie Kendal: yea they sure are ã‹¡

[2012/12/01 12:12]  Gracie Kendal: how do they know, we arent bots 😀

[2012/12/01 12:12]  Gracie Kendal: ?

[2012/12/01 12:12]  wirxli2: I am not a bot I am not a bot I am not a bot I am not a bot I am not a bot I am not a bot I am not a bot I am not a bot I am not a bot I am not a bot

[2012/12/01 12:12]  1 (jo.ellsmere): avatars are fake people. Bots are fake fake people. 😉

[2012/12/01 12:12]  Gracie Kendal: hahaha

[2012/12/01 12:12]  Gracie Kendal: peopel are fake fake fake people 😀

[2012/12/01 12:12]  Alan Dojoji: nah people are fake bots

[2012/12/01 12:12]  wirxli2: “fake” for now

[2012/12/01 12:12]  1 (jo.ellsmere): lol

[2012/12/01 12:12]  Alan Dojoji: look at our elections

[2012/12/01 12:12]  wirxli2: soon they will be more real..HAHAHAHAHAHA

[2012/12/01 12:12]  Gracie Kendal: haha

[2012/12/01 12:12]  wirxli2: exactly

[2012/12/01 12:13]  wirxli2: Mittbott

[2012/12/01 12:13]  1 (jo.ellsmere): I believe Mitt IS a bot, for real!

[2012/12/01 12:13]  Alan Dojoji: wouldn’t fit into your piece

[2012/12/01 12:13]  Alan Dojoji: absolutely

[2012/12/01 12:13]  Gracie Kendal: oops froze..LOL

[2012/12/01 12:13]  Alan Dojoji: shall we start?

[2012/12/01 12:14]  Gracie Kendal: Yes lets :))

[2012/12/01 12:14]  Gracie Kendal: Thank you all so much for being here at this COnversations with the artists

[2012/12/01 12:14]  Gracie Kendal: This show Systems of Existence is the first group show I have curated and I am very proud of the artists the work and how much everyone put into it

[2012/12/01 12:15]  Gracie Kendal: I wanted to hold an art talk of sorts to talk about what is taking place here in virtual worlds with identity, AI, existence etc. I thought what better way than to talk with the artists themselves. I would love to hear a few minutes from each artist about what you are working on now, where you came from and what your plans for the future are and lets have a great conversation.

[2012/12/01 12:16]  Gracie Kendal: Please feel free to ask questions, comments anything youd like to the artists :))

[2012/12/01 12:16]  Gracie Kendal: Alan, would you like to start?


Systems of existence14 (2)

[2012/12/01 12:16] Alan Dojoji: ok, my piece I think is the simplest – it’s nothing more than a dissected cube

[2012/12/01 12:17] Alan Dojoji: and there are mathematical relations between the different dimensions – the cube is a measure polytope which means it’s a standard for 3 dimensions, just like the square for 2 etc.

[2012/12/01 12:17] Alan Dojoji: and I wanted to see how the dissected cube would actually feel in a space –

[2012/12/01 12:17] wirxli2: I think Alan is doing some alien voices though 😉

[2012/12/01 12:18] Alan Dojoji: as something to wear or as an architecture; in the installation I have with my usual messes in Odyssey for the Turing show, there’s a large cube that interacts there –

[2012/12/01 12:18] Alan Dojoji: but it’s not scripted, it just moves; what I have here is a miniature.

[2012/12/01 12:18] Alan Dojoji: So it’s a kind of minimalism turned flesh, something I want to explore further, but I do need scripting fror it;

[2012/12/01 12:18] Alan Dojoji: in the meantime there are the visible relationships which interest me, but I do want it to go beyond.

[2012/12/01 12:19]  Alan Dojoji: It also relates to yantra and mantra, to the construct of idealized and generated forms in Tibetan Buddhism, so for me the glows and movements of the image are important.

[2012/12/01 12:19]  Alan Dojoji: That way it’s asmearing of identity which also appears as such in the installation –

[2012/12/01 12:20]  Alan Dojoji: I don’t think so?

[2012/12/01 12:20]  Alan Dojoji: anyway that’s about it –

[2012/12/01 12:20]  wirxli2: 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:21]  Alan Dojoji: the piece is simpler than my usual; I saw this as a gallery exhibition and that changed things –

[2012/12/01 12:21]  Gracie Kendal: Thank you very much Alan.

[2012/12/01 12:22]  wirxli2: <applause>

[2012/12/01 12:22]  Gracie Kendal: Selavy, would you like to tell us about yourself?


systems of existence4 (2)

[2012/12/01 12:22]  Alan Dojoji: thanks

[2012/12/01 12:22]  Selavy Oh: thanks alan

[2012/12/01 12:22]  Gracie Kendal: YAY!

[2012/12/01 12:22]  Alan Dojoji: 🙂 thou speakest

[2012/12/01 12:23]  Selavy Oh: so, my piece is also pretty simple

[2012/12/01 12:23]  Selavy Oh: three chairs

[2012/12/01 12:23]  Selavy Oh: two avatars

[2012/12/01 12:23]  Selavy Oh: and a bit of text

[2012/12/01 12:24]  Selavy Oh: it is about communication

[2012/12/01 12:24]  Selavy Oh: it is about the artist

[2012/12/01 12:24]  Selavy Oh: it is about the avatar

[2012/12/01 12:25]  Alan Dojoji: can you say something also about the text?

[2012/12/01 12:25]  Relay Caedmon: hmm isnt the avatar and artist one and the same??

[2012/12/01 12:25]  Selavy Oh: it’s called “the three of us”. the inner monologue. the selbstgespräch.

[2012/12/01 12:25]  Selavy Oh: there are two avatars sitting there

[2012/12/01 12:25]  Alan Dojoji: I loved the text –

[2012/12/01 12:25]  Selavy Oh: these avatars evidently look like the artist

[2012/12/01 12:25]  Selavy Oh: but who are they

[2012/12/01 12:26]  Gracie Kendal: Yea the text is great. And loved the interactivity with the participant too

[2012/12/01 12:26]  Jo Ellsmere: you mean: “the artist” in the generic sense as opposed to you, personally?

[2012/12/01 12:26]  Selavy Oh: the text is generated with a algorithm

[2012/12/01 12:26]  Selavy Oh: that i developed for LPDT2, a collaboration with roy ascott, elif ayiter, and max moswitzer

[2012/12/01 12:27]  Alan Dojoji: it’s pretty amazing

[2012/12/01 12:27]  Selavy Oh: all text comes from the Project Gutenberg

[2012/12/01 12:27]  Selavy Oh: thanks alan

[2012/12/01 12:29]  Gracie Kendal: Selavy, can you tell us a little about what you do in SL, as an artist? Where your ideas stem from?

[2012/12/01 12:29]  wirxli2: 🙂

[2012/12/01 12:30]  Selavy Oh: what am i doing here?

[2012/12/01 12:30]  Selavy Oh: good question

[2012/12/01 12:30]  Jo Ellsmere: :))

[2012/12/01 12:30]  Selavy Oh: i’m existing

[2012/12/01 12:30]  Gracie Kendal: haha yep 😀

[2012/12/01 12:30]  Alan Dojoji: maybe

[2012/12/01 12:30]  Gracie Kendal: and your art? What is it doing here>

[2012/12/01 12:30]  Gracie Kendal: ?

[2012/12/01 12:30]  wirxli2: >:-D

[2012/12/01 12:31]  Selavy Oh: well, exactly, it’s not a trivial conclusion

[2012/12/01 12:31]  Selavy Oh: my art makes me exist

[2012/12/01 12:31]  Jo Ellsmere: excellent answer!

[2012/12/01 12:31]  Gracie Kendal: ã‹¡

[2012/12/01 12:31]  Selavy Oh: alan, concerning your question about the text

[2012/12/01 12:31]  Alan Dojoji: yes

[2012/12/01 12:31]  Selavy Oh: the algorithm selecting the text is the key i think

[2012/12/01 12:32]  Selavy Oh: i’ll copy-paste now from a description

[2012/12/01 12:32]  Selavy Oh: (tell me if you fall asleep)

[2012/12/01 12:32]  Alan Dojoji: markov chain

[2012/12/01 12:32]  Selavy Oh: The central idea of the text generator’s algorithm is that any meaningful flow of text is based on the semantic connection of subsequent sentences.

[2012/12/01 12:32]  Gracie Kendal: haha

[2012/12/01 12:33]  Selavy Oh: This is a linkage which is usually imposed by the author, however at the same time the reader expects such a connection.

[2012/12/01 12:33]  Selavy Oh: (excellent association alan!)

[2012/12/01 12:33]  wirxli2: 😀

[2012/12/01 12:33]  Selavy Oh: The present algorithm exploits both the intentions of the numerous authors and the expectations of the reader/spectator, but instead of relying upon an understanding of the text in order to choose appropriate sentences, it uses the statistical properties of written text in a similar fashion to what has been proposed by Claude Shannon more than half a century ago for generating messages

[2012/12/01 12:33]  Alan Dojoji: ah, we’ve worked with those Shannon examples

[2012/12/01 12:33]  Selavy Oh: In Shannon’s terminology, such an algorithm would be best called a simplified second-order sentence approximation to language.

[2012/12/01 12:34]  Selavy Oh: 1) choose a random text from Project Gutenberg and then randomly select a sentence as the starting point,

[2012/12/01 12:34]  Selavy Oh: The algorithm can thus be described through the following recipe:

[2012/12/01 12:34]  Selavy Oh: The simplification consists in reducing a sentence to the word that has the highest amount of information (in Shannon’s sense), ergo usually the longest word of a sentence.

[2012/12/01 12:34]  Selavy Oh: 2) take the longest word in this sentence and search for this word in another text, again randomly chosen from Project Gutenberg,

[2012/12/01 12:35]  Selavy Oh: 3) once the word is found in the new text, take the sentence immediately succeeding the sentence containing the word,

[2012/12/01 12:35]  Selavy Oh: 4) take this succeeding sentence as a new