The End of Individuals

The End Of Individuals is a work that negatively translates the book On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859). Intersecting art and artificial intelligence, the work is an experiment in language that explores machine and human capacities to negate. By using machine learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Large Language Models (LLM), the custom-made software analyses and negates texts, testing the limit of machine’s understanding.

One of the most important scientific publications of all time, Origin of Species established the theory of evolution that works by natural selection, random variation (mutation) and adaptation to the environment (struggle for life). Represented as a branching pattern, evolutionary theory proves how each variety of species descends from a common ancestor, concluding that there is a single, common ancestor of all life forms and the ultimate origin or “simple a beginning”.

Conceived as a linguistic experiment and algorithm for humans and machines, the work is part of the Negative Poetry project, an ongoing, interdisciplinary research of the notion of Origin and negation in language. NP v2.0 explores the dark side of AI – how does a machine learn to negate, oppose or lie and how does a new model emerge that would allow for more creative ‘thinking’?

Collaboration: Studio RNDR (software & visualizations), Beng Yeunyong (3D modeling & printing)

Support: Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industries Fund NL (Digital Culture grant), ArtEncounters Biennial Timisoara, Informed Unformed (Publishing) Rotterdam

Installation view: POST x InScience Film Festival, Huis van de Nijmeegse Geschiedenis (Mariënburg Kapel) Nijmegen, 2024

Screenshots: (1) Screen 01: Density and work analysis of On the Origin of Species book, (2) Screen 02: character analysis and word antonymization, (3) Screen 03: recursive translation of the original text following 8 available modes of negations

Installation view – 4-channel projection: Approaching Zero solo exhibition, Podroom gallery, Cultural Centre of Belgrade (29 Jun – 06 Aug 2023)

Installation view – single projection: Approaching Zero @ DISPLAY gallery, University Jaume I, Castellon de la Plana, Spain (19 May – 02 Jun 2024)

The installation structure

The book holder