Song: BenBen - Algorithmia
Video: Nate Dorr

2022 | 4 min

A machine learning-powered music video for BenBen's Algorithmia, off of the eponymous EP released in Fall 2022.

Do neural networks listen to simulated rock bands? Algorithms have dictated much of what we see and hear for years already; they've only much more recently become able to reproduces semblances of it on their own. With the advent of adversarial learning (pioneered by chess AIs trained through near-endless competition against eachother), digital simulacra have become more and more eerily convincing: songs extended through extrapolation, faces invented, and so many machine-generated avocado armchair designs. Especially over the last six months the tools for fully AI-created images (based only on generalized knowledge from data sets consisting of millions of captioned pictures) have rapidly evolved, diversified, and improved, allowing more and more generative artists to explore the form. But with algorithms already warping artistic production through the feedback loops of streaming and social media, what may come of vertically-integrating algorithmic distribution with its own ability to create? Or, in the deeper exploration of machine-generated art -- the interest of which comes as much from its mystifying errors and omissions as from its successes -- will the essential significance of the guiding human hand become only more obvious?

In the time since this was created -- in January 2022, eons ago in AI imaging -- we've seen this sort of thing become all the more pervasive, and raise significant concerns about how these models borrow from and incorporate the styles of individual artists. As the systems have improved and become more problematically precise, however, I see lingering charm in the flawed and unpredictable results we reached here, where there's no escaping the specifically algorithmic nature of the work.
WORLD PREMIERE at the Supernova Digital Animation Festival, Denver (September 7, 2022)
Most Original Music Video at the 11th Grand Rapids Film Festival (September 23 - 25, 2022)
International Premiere at the HB Film Festival Paisley, Scotland (October 7 - 9, 2022)
Screening at the Boundless Film Festival, London (October 10 - 16, 2022)
Best Experimental Music Video at the Prague Music Video Awards (Fall 2022)
Screening at the 7th Music Film Festival, Los Angeles (November 10, 2022)
Latin American Premiere at the 12th CutOut Fest, Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico (December 8, 2022)
Streaming in "Scientific Musicals" on Labocine (January 2023)
Southern U.S. Premiere at the 26th Magnolia Film Festival, Starksville, Mississippi (February 23, 2023)
Australian Premiere at the Sparrowland Short Film Festival, Brisbane, Australia (March 11, 2023)
Screening at the Bizarrya Short Film Festival, Portugal (March 15 - 31, 2023)
Screening at the Athens Animfest, Greece (March 16 - 19, 2023)
African Premiere at Sound on Screen, South Africa (April 2023)
Finalist in the Nubes Music Video Awards, Salerno, Italy (May 16, 2023)
Included in the 21st CURRENTS New Media Festival, Santa Fe (June 16 - 25, 2023)
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