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Becoming Humidity as a Diversion

Becoming Humidity as a Diversion

A Good Idea for a Very Good Book, Or, Earth in Other Worlds

ByAndreas Ervik

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This book has its origin from the book Becoming Human Amid Diversions, an academic book in the field of media studies, published by Palgrave Macmillan. An online neural network text generation tool has received this book as input, paragraph by paragraph. In response it has created its own pieces of writing. The result is a refracted version, a diversion of Becoming Human Amid Diversions. It is titled Becoming Humidity as a Diversion, alluding to the liquid state of mind explored in the conclusion of the original book. The title also plays with the title of this book, in a similar manner to a classic diversion of McLuhan’s media theory. One of the central points for McLuhan is that “[s]ocieties have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication.” This is encapsulated in the notion “the medium is the message,” which in the collaborative collage book by McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore is transformed into the title The Medium is the Massage, and “how electric technology shapes, works over, alters—massages—every instant of our lives.” What kind of message or massage does the neural network contribute? It produces a copy that is at once written and not written by the author. It is produced through a digitally updated surrealist automatic writing process. And as the surrealists thought automatic writing would provide access to the unconscious, this book could be considered a way of engaging with the population of unknown authors going into machine learning material synthesized into an AI that outputs a nearly intelligible wordflow.


Publication Date
Nov 1, 2022
Art & Photography
Creative Commons NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)
By (author): Andreas Ervik


Case Wrap
Interior Color
A5 (5.83 x 8.27 in / 148 x 210 mm)


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