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"Moirologist Bot" - a fragment of one of the video selected by AI - part of "How to Make an Ocean" experience

Moirologist Bot

Can AI, which operates within our online / digital lives and curates a lot of consumed by us content, help us to embrace loss? Can it provide and hold a space to recognise pain, anxiety and sadness, while helping us to mourn? If so much of provided information depends on algorithms, can algorithms be also responsible for how we deal with these information? The "Moirologist Bot" is an AI driven video installation inspired by the emergence of "environmental anxiety" as a medically recognised mental condition as an adverse reaction to the state of the world, 6th extinction, climate collapse, pandemic, persoanl loss and all the radical changes affecting our status quo.

This mental state is often aggrevated by constant stream of news headline - made in purpose to be alarming, sensation seeking and fear inducing, often creating in consumers (be it readers, listeners or viewers) sense of resignation and powerlesness. Humans cry when grieving, experiencing pain or anger, but most often when feeling powerless. At the same time tears are very beneficial for the human psyche and body - by crying we let toxins out (such as cortisol) accumated while experiencing negative emotions. This leads to a sense of relief and often clarity after a good cry. But sometimes even if we want to, it is impossible to shed those beneficial tears.

In the past "Moirologist" was a professional "mourner" - a person invited to wakes and funerals to cry and with that encourage other mourners to cry too. "Moirologist Bot" is a digital revival of this bygone job. A Moirologist Bot is an algorithm which scans environmental news headlines from major online media outlets every few minutes and then asses the "need to cry". Based on this assessment it selects a video from the selection of growing number of videos. Each video is made out of three parts - archival news headlines (Nature Magazine and The Guardian) about the destruction of environment, in particular oceans and marine life with archival film footage, the recordings of the sea in its various states and then the “face of the bot”. Each part respond to the AI analysis, and when collected together into 10 or 15 minutes experience they provide prompts and atmosphere helping to relax, meditate, reflect and hopefully cry.

The viewer is on their own, watching the video in especially created for it space. Initially created for "How to Make an Ocean" experience, "Moirlogist Bot" room also contains the Tears Tools - tearspoons, funnel and the tiny sample bottle for tear donation towards making mini marine ecosystems.


Additional Support: DAVOR DELIJA


Moirologist Bot as a part of How to Make an Ocean has been possible thanks to EMAP / EMARE residency conducted at Ars Electronica. Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.


25th - 30th June 2021
How to Make an Ocean
Werkleitz Festival
Halle, Germany

7th - 11th Sept 2021
How to Make an Ocean
Ars Electronica, Linz

15th - 30th Sept 2021
How to Make an Ocean - Empathy Performance
New Now Festival
Essen, Germany


Artist's Film
Ars Electronica festival

Ars Electronica Blog

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"How to Make an Ocean - Tears of Sadness"
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