Generative artistic-technical project, 2022
Today’s computer programs can generate logotypes and advertisements, mimes and songs, realistic photographs and abstract animations, commercial and political propaganda. What is this society in which we, as humans and users of these systems, identify ourselves with automatically generated symbols? A society whose identities are directed by algorithms?
For the project Versatile, I’ve written a program that can generate an infinite number of flags and different micro identities. The identities are fractally multiplied, ad infinitum. The program represents a kind of expert system, a small artificial intelligence for heraldic and vexillology.
The project poses the questions regarding the relationship between technology and ideology. When we choose a flag, have we really chosen it ourselves or have we simply been hooked on an automatised hook? While scrolling and liking increases our dopamine and serotonin levels, do we have an illusion of the freedom of choice? Do we rule the symbols or are they ruling us? And generally speaking, are there any aesthetic solutions for structural issues?
Catherine Hales wondered: “Are we becoming codes that we enter into our computers?”. Boris Buden said: “Identity is a bone they throw at you before they skin you alive”. Rumi sang: “No banner. Only love. Only a post for the banner, and wind. But no banner.” And the zen poets would add: “That thing that flutters, is it the flag or the wind? Neither. It is your mind that flutters.”
How do our minds flutter?