Nandimul X is a ghost living within an artificial intelligence, or more precisely, within a machine learning model trained on the complete works of science fiction author J.G. Ballard. As this language model describes images of mysterious landscapes and structures, it both hallucinates Ballard's artistic style and recalls his many critiques of modernism and its effects on architecture, urban life, and the natural environment.
Commissioned for the 2018 Modern Body Laboratory, The Voices of Nandimul X explores the program's theme of permanence in a post-digital world, and asks: how do histories reside in physical spaces? Can images accumulate a significance over time, different than that of the object within the image? And how may our imaginations of an afterlife be impacted by A.I. systems that are increasingly capable of archiving and emulating an individual's creative output.
Made possible by The Modern Body Festival, Yukun Zhu, Google Artists and Machine Intelligence, Maxwell Forbes, and the University of Washington Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media. Narration by Kevin Walton.