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Smaller, Slower, Sloppier

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  • Predictive Text, TextRNN, ml5.js, YOLO Object Detection, PatchMatch, WaveNet, ChucK
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In my essay "Smaller, Slower, Sloppier," I navigate the interstitial spaces for art creation where human agency meets the machinic pulse of artificial intelligence. My engagement with AI, mainly through projects like "I, It's, The," transforms our interaction into a symbiotic dialogue, treating AI not merely as tools but as equal participants, co-creators in a dance of predictability and whimsy. This conversation hints at a shared evolution of cognition. "ERROAR#4 The Oral Logic" contemplates the stark metaphor of AI-enacted cannibalism, reflecting on our consumption of technology and, paradoxically, its consumption of us. Meanwhile, "Deep Aware Triads - orishormonospina" deliberately infuses the biological realities and digital representations to mirror the complex interactions within artificial neural networks, revealing how deeply intertwined and yet disjointed our coexistence with technology can become. "Garrulous Guts" then extends this exploration into the visceral, translating the unsettling dissonance of AI misinterpretations into a guttural language of sounds and vibrations, echoing the organic processes of digestion and regurgitation—metaphors for our processing of and by cybernetic intelligence. Through these artistic experiments, I advocate a slowing down, a deliberate fumbling with the smaller and the missteps. This "Smaller, Slower, Sloppier" approach is a resistance against the relentless march toward faster, sleeker, and unblemished narratives that technology often promises. It's an embrace of the unpredictability and imperfection that reminds us of the poetic potential that thrives in the spaces between making noise and making sense, in the echoes of the algorithm's unintended whispers, suggesting that to err is not just human but fundamentally a part of being.

( works across art, music and technology. X is interested in making noise as a generative space to evoke the dissonant, untranslatable and illegible within more-than-human entanglements. They often involve processes of improvisation, computation and fiction to compose software, images, installations, performances and editions. Their work has appeared at the MOCA Toronto, the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (Shanghai), the Venice Architecture Biennale, Peer to Space (Berlin), MUTEK Montreal, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Goethe-Institut (Beijing), among others. Their multifaceted practice has been featured and reviewed in Canadian Art (Winter 2020), ArtAsiaPacific (Issue. 111), KUNSTFORUM (Bd. 257), Musicworks (Issue. 136), and Bandcamp Daily (Best Experimental Albums). They were an artist-in-residence awarded by the Swiss Arts Council in 2023, a finalist of EQ Bank digital artist awards in 2018, and a recipient of scholarships and grants from Canada Councils for the Arts and the SSHRC. Hailing from China and currently based in Toronto/Tkaronto, X teaches media arts at the University of Waterloo.