Evolution (2013, w / Håkan Jonson)

Evolution (a collaboration with Håkan Jonson) is a Java-based AI application that emulates the writing and compositions of poet and artist Johannes Heldén. The application analyzes a database with all published text- and soundwork by the artist and generates a continuously evolving poem that simulates Heldéns style: in vocabulary, the spacing in-between words, syntax, sound.

See also the print version here. The Evolution project is the winner of the inaugural N.Katherine Hayles Prize.

Visit the work: www.textevolution.net

"Evolution is an online artwork-in-progress designed to emulate the texts and music of poet and artist Johannes Heldén, with the ultimate goal of passing “The Imitation Game Test” as proposed by Alan Turing in 1951. With Evolution we aim to examine and dissect the role of the author; when new poetry that resembles the work of the original author is created or presented through an algorithm, is it possible to make the distinction between “author” and “programmer”? And is it even relevant? When the work of the algorithm is extrapolated to the point where the original author becomes redundant, how does  this affect copyright, legacy, future writings, etc ? The purpose of the work is not to deromanticize or deconstruct the role of the author, but is rather the ongoing exploration itself. Where will it take us, and perhaps more importantly, what will happen along the way? The release of Evolution will mark the end of Johannes Heldén writing poetry books. He has, in a sense, been replaced."