Electronic imagination

November 26, 2023

A stained-glass sky map in an ancient temple overgrown with vegetation and water.

A stained-glass sky map in an overgrown, waterlogged science-fiction temple. A man dressed in old-fashioned clothes studies it.

In search of inspiration, I played with Bing's image creator. Each time, this artificial intelligence composed four variations on the same theme.

As I don't pay for the DALLE.E service, I only get images of varying detail. Despite subtle alterations to my requests, the tool reinvented the previous work without taking it back. Once again, I don't pay and make do with what's on offer.

That's good enough for now. In just a few minutes, DALLE.E's ability to copy and reformulate what already exists plunges me into a universe of possibilities. Astrological symbols are more than just distorted. They go in all directions, scribbled and erased by the robot's dreamlike algorithm.

I can understand that the tool subjugates young artists already fused to their multiple keyboards. It could also be seen as a way out of the sleepy aesthetic simplification of today's corporate designers.

Is this a creative escape or another of the schizophrenic bastardizations brought on by contemporary technologies? Perhaps both. Poets already live in another world; artists seize upon their universes to distort them, sometimes at the risk of getting lost. In this case, DALLE.E is safe. But for those who are poisoned by nothing, unable to get drunk, or to return safely to port, it will be the usual fate. There will always be plenty of victims living in ethylic ordinariness.

And then, how much do I really know? (Don't I often say that to myself, as a pretender to the imaginary?) All the same, progress is being made despite the blood and pollution. Great things are being achieved by studying the stars and atoms. Despite the darkening horizons, a great deal of happiness and colour is being created.

Nature seems to retain her carefree patience despite human variations. It all seems to follow a path, a design as if God didn't play dice; that chaos was just a curtain obliterating the order of the World.

Meanwhile, I wish I'd been one of those monks standing in front of those intact stained-glass windows discovered in an abandoned temple. This might be where our souls dwell. The symbols are there, incomprehensible, moving, and the light is shimmering, intoxicating. A rare peace and a greater thirst can be found here.

In the sky, Pluto changes sign. It will travel for an extended period in Aquarius, an air sign. DALLE.E and co. are the manifestations of this. Intellectual eruptions ahead, say the astrologers, for better or for worse.

Here, I'll have to ask the AI madness what he/she/it thinks.