FRArt Algoliterary Publishing

1. Algoliterary Publishinghouse: Making kin with tress

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Anaïs Berck is an alias that exists since September 2019. The name stands for a collaboration between humans, algorithms and trees. As a collective Anais Berck opens up a space in which human intelligence is explored in the company of plant intelligence and artificial intelligence. For this project, Anaïs Berck is represented by the human beings An Mertens, Guillaume Slizewicz, Gijs de Heij and Loren Britton, all members or friends of Constant, the association for arts and media in Brussels; and of Algolit, the artistic research group around text and free code.

Within the framework of FRArt, Anaïs Berck proposes to explore the notion of a publishing house in which the authors will be algorithms, presented with their contexts and codes; and in which the content of the books seeds with trees and nature. By putting the tree and its representations at the center of their works, and by welcoming algorithms not at the service of extracting resources or value towards a commercial objective, but for making kin with nature, these intelligences create narratives which speak about trees and also challenge colonial views of classification, methods of standardization, and might speak critically about the effects of dominant cultures. While doing so, they put trees at the center of the creation, and therefore decenter the perspective of the human being.

The project will look into formal narratives generated by algorithms, question the form of the book as an object and authorial product, explore the concept of a ‘decolonial publishing house’ and experiment with the influence of ‘forest baths’ on the writing of code and the communication with trees.

This research will be initiated in June 2021, with An Mertens, Gijs de Heij and Loren Britton, during a 3-week residency at Medialab Prado in Madrid (granted by the Vlaamse Overheid as part of their 'Digital Culture Residencies' program).