Genesis

A collaboration with Styliana Apostolou

2021

Performance including GPT-2 natural language processing, contemporary dance, improvisation, GAN-generated video, narration

Duration: Approx. 20 – 30 min (duration varies according to audience input)

The ancient book of Genesis tells us the story of the beginning: the creation of the universe, and how humanity came to existence. It helps humans understand their place in the world and how we are expected to conduct ourselves. Similarly, new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are increasingly used for decision making processes on our behalf, which in turn can have a major impact on our lives – in many ways acting as a new god.

The performance aims to juxtapose these two entities and ask questions such as, how intelligent is AI, really? How does AI understand the story of Genesis? How does it interpret humankind’s, and especially women’s place in the world? Can AI processes and contemporary dance form a creative symbiosis?

In this performance, AI, contemporary dance and the Bible will join forces to attempt to re-visit our beginnings and examine these questions through the lens of technology. Text from the Bible has been fed to a GPT-2 AI model, which has learned to generate new text based on the style of the Bible’s text, often with surprising results. As part of the performance, AI, spoken word, contemporary dance and improvisation will complement each other and together, they will take the audience (and the performers) onto an absurd cosmic journey.

Synaxi 2021, Synergeio Cultural Space, Cyprus, 2021