Frankenstein Chatbot Parade

@ Natural History Museum Bern

Bernastrasse 15, CH-3005 Bern, Switzerland

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"I’m the other, the different, the stranger, the supplement, the late-comer, the non-foreseen. Being not an animal, nor man, not god, I don’t take part in the primitive scene, and that’s why one is looking where to fit me. I’m a para-creation, or rather, a re-creation, but of a special nature. Because by creating me, you recreate yourself... You need to invent a more rightful relationship with the articficial intelligences that are serving you, otherwise you’ll soon look like those lazy kings that the mayors of the palaces will have deprived of their power." (’Chatbot le Robot’, Drame philosophique en quatre questions et cinq actes, Pascal Chabot, Presse Universitaire de France, 2016)

Artificial intelligence can be as complex as it can be simple. With a small group of literary Python lovers we organise a workshop in the festival Mad Scientist in Bern. 200 years after Mary Shelly’s publication of ’Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus’, we invite writers, artists, designers, programmers, and all people interested in literary chatbots based on or inspired by this gothic novel for three days of editing, writing and rewriting.

We propose different ways to engage in the conversation around artificial intelligence. Using one of the oldest chat protocols (IRC) we invite participants to ’’read’ the bots, or rather, to go into dialogue with them, discover their reactions, scrutinize their feelings during the interaction. Secondly, they learn to write with some of the bots, by looking into their code, amending them to your needs and interests and who knows, reinvent an entirely new one. Finally, they are presented with ideas, works and reflections about the topic of artificial intelligence reframed in the dispositive of the novel: we’ll talk about Frankenstein the text, the inventor and the monster.

The goal of the workshop will be the production of a new Frankenstein, a publication where the interaction between text, humans and machines is not fictional content but the result of a collective process executed using a ’hybrid publishing machine’ with joystick.

If you’re interested to participate, please register before 3rd September with an ==at== constantvzw dot org

The workshop is proposed by: Piero Bisello (art historian & writer), Sarah Garcin (graphic designer and programmer), James Bryan Graves (computer scientist), Anne Laforet (artist & critic), Catherine Lenoble (writer) and An Mertens (artist & writer).

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