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Myth of the Divine

Digital animation with shaman mask reproduction, 00:01:02

This animation combines a reproduction of a shaman’s mask that was produced as a tourist artifact and text written by an Artificial Intelligence language generator. The AI that produced this text was trained using the first couple lines of the Uitoto creation myth, an indigenous people of southeastern Colombia and northern Peru. The myth was used as the basis for the training data as the Uitoto are one of the only cosmologies that tie their existence to an acknowledgement that the act of observation is itself an illusion.

In a way that is no different than in quantum physics our perception plucks events into manifestation from a cosmic soup of potentialities, and in essence our reality begins with illusion. In this case, a cosmic illusion becomes self-aware and looks into itself.  The act of observation begins to collapse a formless wave into form. This myth does not neatly fit into categorical cosmogonies since illusion precedes existence. Instead the AI produces a kind of mystical pulp that completes as much as speculates as to the generative action of its own perception.





Copyright © 2021 Daniel R. Small. All rights reserved.