"Number is the ruler of forms and ideas, and the cause of gods and demons." - Pythagoras
Nature is prone to dualism in various forms, and human nature is no exception. While the common view of the material world is that of a solid base, over centuries mankind has been using mathematical abstraction as a language to both describe, and to alter the surrounding environment. Manifested through technology, mathematics operates not only as an intrinsic part of reality, but often as part of higher order, with its power of projecting and defining new materiality, rather than merely describing the existent. Essentially, mathematics is where the real and the ideal merge, occasionally swapping their places and turning into one another.
While this process has much material evidence, the connections between mathematics and physical reality are not always obvious or straightforward [see E.Wigner's The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics...]. At times, they may take rather obscure, even poetic forms, if viewing poetry as a method of semantic compression: mathematics being the language of highest symbolic abstraction can be seen as the most universal of poetry.
TEOPEMA explores this particular aspect of the dualism: mathematical statements and formulae, represented by abstract graphics and synthetic sound, appear as the higher reality, in which the figurative materialistic scenes of the physical world, together with their sound serve as sources to calculations of a most effective poetic solution.
In other words, TEOPEMA absorbs various aspects of the anthropocentric worldview, including those of material, social or spiritual nature, and uses them as a statistical data array to suggest a possible plausible solution to the mathematical problem of a higher order: A Poem.
Visual part of TEOPEMA is created by Vadim Epstein with Illustrip - a distinct ML-based video synthesis technique, developed as a part of his Aphantasia toolkit. All the imagery has been envisioned here with the help of foundation model CLIP from the hundreds of textual sentences, meticulously interpolated in their semantic space, individually driving the meaning and the style.
The sonic environment, constructed by COH, represents a layered structure of digitally synthesized sounds. In order to emulate the spatial effects, curves of volume and stereo balance for each layer have been individually mapped to the time sequence of visual events, as generated by Illustrip. To accentuate the human nature of perception, and that of the viewer's experience, the soundtrack contains occasional organic inclusions.
Chapter 5 [Body of Nature] subjects were influenced by collaboration with Margo Trushina for her "Second Body" artwork.
Vadim Epstein :: Media artist, director, and speaker; VJ for decades; former IT consultant and casual theoretical physicist. Making multimedia art since 1996, combining generative methods with figurative imagery, with a current focus on AI/ML and creative coding in general.
Ivan Pavlov :: Russian sound artist and musician; former acoustic engineer and data scientist. Releasing computer music as COH since 1998, with primary interest in exploration of sound qualities affecting listener's perception of both the music itself and the surrounding reality.
TEOPEMA set consists of 696 unique pieces; each one is a 3 sec video with sound.
When all the pieces are put together in order, they create a 35 minute long exhibition video of a continuous deep dive into a world, fully created by the complex mathematical methods, usually referred as AI.
The algorithm follows the narrative in six distinct chapters, with 116 pieces in each:
Onset, extrapolations within the abstract realms of symbolic hypothetical precondition.
Genesis of the world, from draft sketches of the universe, to the conception of material reality and onwards to the creation of conscious mind.
Introduction and exploration of the super-conscious, the spiritual and, subsequently, the religious beliefs accompanying the evolution.
- Fear Not
Study of the subconscious, based on the sensory experience and feelings, exposed in the imaginary contrast of "triumphs" and "collapses".
- Body of Nature
Contemporary concerns and challenges, in the multitude of aspects - natural, virtual, digital, local and global.
Thesis, abstracting from the figurative back into the conclusive structures and patterns, and on to the absolute.
Role :: indicates if the piece belongs to some specific scene.
Genre :: special visual manner, added to the piece.
Authorial :: indicates if some personal art style was added to the piece.
Labels are essential keywords, extracted from the textual input [source] of the pieces. Every label occurs four times, with four phases: in, on, set, out [indicating the interpolation progress]. There are 174 labels in total.
Time specifies the beginning of the piece within overall exhibition video.
The rare pieces are with "Role=transit". Combination "Role=transit, Genre=futur" appears only once.
The mint for TEOPEMA took place on braindrops.cloud.
Some pieces are available for recollecting at Opensea.io.
Check out the BrainDrops discord server for more info: discord.gg/BnRgFBhKKz