Martinus Suijkerbuijk | Endgame/Wasteland
June 2 – July 30, 2023 / Opening Friday June 2nd @ 18.00 – 20.00.
A generative audio visual and mixed media installation.
Endgame/WasteLand is an art experience at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), literature, and theatre.
The work is produced for TEKS.studio and involves two autonomous AI agents that communicate with each other using GPT technology. Each agent performs a role reminiscent of Samuel Beckett’s theatre play “Endgame” set on a virtual stage with T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” as the visual backdrop.
The “stage” has played a pivotal role in the history of culture to negotiate and configure the posture of the human condition. Endgame/WasteLand redefines the meaning of the stage under the spell of narrative technologies like ChatGPT.
In Suijkerbuijk’s installation the configuration of the human condition is delegated to two autonomous AI agents. Two custom modelled AI actors each have their idiosyncratic behaviours, and can communicate in an automated dialogue with a distinct character that is a combination and a derivative of Samuel Beckett’s seminal theatre play and T.S. Eliot’s landmark poem. The scenography is inspired by Eliot’s complex and multi-layered modernist poem. It evokes an absurd dystopian scene, a barren landscape, a tapestry of isolation and exposure, and an aftermath of “some” event.
Shreds of Beckett’s Endgame, known for its repetitive, cyclical, and bleak dialogues, return in the automated dialogue. The characters reflect on the relations between technology, identity, and mortality, but often struggle to transmit meaning in a dialogue that is determined by probabilities; the logical trait of the oxymoronic nature of a quantified existentialist.