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2022-2023 (W.i.P.)
ai, artificial intelligence, Instagram, generative picture, fiction
Project link

@theoDORE is an artistic project that tells the story of a fictional character named Theodore whose stories are illustrated by the artificial intelligence Dall-E 2. This fiction is told in the form of an Instagram account that is updated daily.

Summary of the story:
Theodore is a man in his forties, a computer developer specializing in the manufacture of sensors. A techie, nature and bike enthusiast, he spends much of his free time hiking with his girlfriend and friend Tom.
The story begins when Theodore got a new job with an agency called Agavee that develops sensors and drones to detect deforestation areas. He begins his work by setting up infrared sensors that he tests every other week directly in the surrounding forest.
But his last flights of forest will allow the detection of zones strangely affected by a massive deforestation partially illegal that the company discovers. The project is growing and is supported by several institutions to the point of being noticed for large-scale tests on an international scale.
However, Theodore seems preoccupied by another event, he discovers during field research the presence of a strange animal that he tries to locate ...

The fiction project @theoDORE was born from a double perspective.

The first is the desire to question the notion of (self) narration on social networks and the place that fiction takes in these spaces of monstration. This project starts with the logic developed by the artist LaTurbo Avedon to build a secondary fictional being, attached to his own person but not to his identity. This fictional character gravitates in spaces where only the reality and the representation of oneself counts. This invented being then becomes more than an avatar but also a concrete space of experimentation on the identity as much as a bug in the system because inoperative in the data recovery. This narrative form counteracts the very functioning of these platforms as advertising spaces.

As Gregory Chatonsky says: "It would be enough to fictionalize our existences to destroy their added value. It would be enough to introduce a bit of contingency and indeterminacy to make our data unsellable, that is to say, untradeable, and that all that remains is the economic weight of memory media: a bottomless pit." (read the article)

The second desire is to work with neural networks to produce images. These pictures based on the stored memory of humans refer directly to our use of social networks; they have the aesthetics (square format, filtered colors and unoriginal framing). The AI produces new images based on a collective memory, a kind of mise en abîme of Instagram for itself. Images without values, redundant and built on a learning of composition by redundancy. This fictional character generated is born from the global sharing of images on social networks, it is a synthesis.

This experimentation is also a reflection on the production and the daily diffusion of images. At the same time rhythm of artistic production and daily studio work, at the same time pollution of the already saturated visual space. These new generated images will invade our environment, raising the question of the place of artists and creators, of the auctorial position and even of the notions of fiction, reality and truth.

@theoDORE is thus a false person synthesized from real images. A fictional story that amplifies its purpose with real, even autobiographical facts. The AI and I produce images that look more or less like photographs to tell the story of this man whose life and work questions the use of technologies for the environment. Like the film Her by Spike Jonze, whose first name our hero carries (Theodore is the first name of the character played by Joaquin Phoenix), the story uses and questions the future place of AI in our society.