Mohsen Hazrati works with the concept of bibliomancy, a process that employs books to foretell the future. In this case, he uses a volume of poetry called The Divan by the Persian poet Hafez, who lived in Shiraz in the fourteenth century. Words from a randomly selected poem by Hafez are used to create an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm which then generates a collection of data made up of random texts which can be found on the internet. With this data, users can obtain their own individual divinations based on a random AI principle, then interpret the results to predict their own futures.
The artist uses AI as a means of divination, transferring centuries-old literature and culture to the digital world. In the process, he attempts to keep his own influence over the data and AI as minimal as possible. In accordance with Iranian tradition, where a budgerigar bird usually selects the verse, the human being recedes into the background here, too. Divination is given the space it needs to reveal itself without any human influence. The word „none“ in the work’s title means “without intelligence” in Farsi. In contrast to the commercial usages of AI, the goal here is to create a type of AI that does not work logically, but rather as if it were “drunk,” to enable spiritual divination that is not controlled by humans.
Images from Newviewing 43 online show, Barbara Thumm gallery, curated by Mukenge/Schellhammer
Presented as a part of UNLEASHED UTOPIAS, exhibition of the VR ART PRIZE in cooperation with CAA Berlin (September 9 – November 5, 2023 at Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin).
More information: vrkunst.dkb.de