I’m happy that my poems co-written with torch-rnn continue to find good homes.
I’m particularly pleased that Ashley Hudson, the editor of Palaver, interviewed me and published some of the torch-rnn poems in the Spring 2018 issue (pages 45-58). I got the chance to say smart-sounding things, including attempting to form and name a burgeoning artistic movement:
I’ve been thinking about where this project sits in a larger artistic context. There are elements of surrealism, of course, and also Language poetry. But if I can be like torch-rnn for a moment and neologize, I’ve recently settled on cyberimpressionism. Much like Monet or Debussy, these poems present a gauzy, filtered view of the subject rather than a clear, structured portrait. Yet I still find the poems can set a clear mood and be moving. It seems like the current state of many artificial intelligence projects are cyberimpressionistic, such as the bizarre images from Deep Dream, originally created by Google, to all sorts of odd musical compositions to the variety of robots—programs as well as physical machines—created by researchers that are designed to speak in natural language but can be easily manipulated into bizarre behavior by real people. Programmers have built programs that try to convince us they are human, and they always fail. That tension—between a human response and an almost-human one—is where cyberimpressionism as an art can flourish.
Five further poems appear at Zany Zygote Review. As ever, I’m grateful to all of the editors who are interested in publishing computer-collaborated work.