FRArt Algoliterary Publishingintroduction

  • type: Article
  • ref: DOC.2021.157
  • Date begin: June 1 2021

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).