Human Code Computer Tongue

human-android

University College London, Apples and Snakes poetry organisation and poets, Zena Edwards from Verse in Dialog in collaboration present Human Code Computer Tongue.

When: Monday 20 February 2017, 10am-4pm

Where: UCL, 5th Floor Reception, One Euston Square, 40 Melton St, London NW1 2FD (Please report to the ground floor reception)

Tickets: FREE – but booking essential!

Booking: To book your place, please complete a short expression of interest form and email it to daniela@applesandsnakes.org with the masterclass title as the subject.
Apples and Snakes Website

Our imaginations have never been so challenged in the 21st Century. Have we ever been as cornered  by thoughts of our collective mortality outside the age of enlightenment in relation to the global economic and political climate as we have been over the last 16 years. Science has promised us the GM cures for disease, our continued life on this and other planets as well as bionic bodies, cryogenics freezing and the growing of body parts in petri dishes and on the backs of mice.
But in the race to reach the forever disappearing finish line of immortality,  and despite the intricate and omnipotence of the interweb of handsfree communication and connection, we have never been so connected to each other and yet so disconnected. Our physical bodies no longer have to be in the same room for us to chat, shop, have sex and create stuff. Even down to how we imagine creating stuff.

While I participating in a think tank for the Wellcome Trust and the Bloomsbury Festival 2016, I met Sebastian Ridel who had created a code that scanned a photo, painting or image, and after a time deliver a ‘crafted’ poem. My gut reaction was “Ugh! I spent weeks(!) devising a masterclass where we examine 21st century visual culture using selected strong images and  a poetic writing exercise call Ekphrasis. Its an 18th century European poetic device but  I upgraded it for the 21st century globalisaton. The masterclass was going to be epic…! And this computer wrote a poem in minutes?!

As much as I was repelled by the thought of a computer taking my job, my curiosity meant I had to understand it. With as many heads (and creative hearts) in the room as possible.

“Their innovation is testing “low-fi” creative processes
– the pen, the paper, the poet.”

So, I created the masterclass in tune with visual culture rapidly taking precedent  over the 03963c43f74343980f57988ac19879f8art and form of writing. Texting, tweeting,  other social media platforms designed to capture our visual intellect is shaping the way we communicate and document our every day stories. However the innovativion of  younger generations who have adapted tech to their needs for communication is equally exciting as it is disturbing.
Computer code researchers  are deeply engaged with  the creation of language as part of an exploration in how we share knowledge and information, how we construct our ideas for narrative building. Their innovation is testing “low-fi” creative processes – the pen, the paper, the poet – and expanding the platforms we use to tell our stories and possibilities for how we manifest them. Us, Joe Bloggs and Jane Doe, as end-users often simply want to know ‘did my SMS or whatsapp chat get through?’, ‘is ALL of me on fleek?’ and do I have enough battery charge to find my way home or send that messa-…

Technology offers us one of the most exciting chances to dialogue about what we imagine our world will be like in 20, 50, 100 years; what our plans are for the next generations are and how will technology play a part in that future. But most importantly, what stories, myths, fables, tales, epics, limericks and yarns will we be telling ourselves about ourselves in 2017? And how will those stories serve us?

So, in a day long session looking at technology as the storyteller’, I am gathering poets, coders and linguists to come together  to explore how technology assists the literary arts, the writing of poems and the creation of stories that sustain, and the value of a healthy relationship between the two.

With a focus mainly on how poetry is written through code and using images as provocations, participants can expect deep discussion on the phenomenon of  artificial intelligence and the writing of code to create poetry, poetry coding, code in poems, poem codes……
We will pit our skills against new computer programs that also writes poetry. We will discuss how the human imagines and makes meaning of language, debate how technology opens up the world of stories and explore the craft poetry.
Participants will engage in an ‘AI versus Poet’ slam using the poetic device of ‘Ekphrasis’ – (Out, speak) for fun, to see who will own the future of poetry!

When: Monday 20 February 2017, 10am-4pm
Where: UCL, 5th Floor Reception, One Euston Square, 40 Melton St, London NW1 2FD (Please report to the ground floor reception)
Tickets: FREE – but booking essential!
Booking: To book your place, please complete a short expression of interest form and email it to daniela@applesandsnakes.org with the masterclass title as the subject.

Places are limited to 20 and given on a first-come-first-served basis.

Apples and Snakes Website

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