Exclusive: Sasha Stiles Drops Poetry Collaboration With Bang & Olufsen

On Mar. 21, World Poetry Day, renowned AI-collaborative poet Sasha Stiles dropped her latest work on MakersPlace: “FOUR CORE TEXTS: Humanifesto and Other Poems”.

The quartet of poems, written along with her poetry AI, Technelegy, are a feast for the eyes and ears, featuring music by her longtime collaborator, Kris Bones.

They were created in partnership with luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen, who will debut them at an Apr. 4 gathering hosted by Stiles and MakersPlace in a specially designed installation at the B & O New York gallery.

With influences including Stiles’ Kalmyk-Mongolian heritage and T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets,” the poems will be available for sale at MakersPlace from Apr. 3.

To Stiles, poetry is far more than words on a page; along with the words by herself and Technelegy, the auditory aspects of the works are an integral part of them, connecting the languages of her ancestors with the cutting-edge worlds of web3 and AI. “The four poems are multilingual, in the sense that they’re performed by me as well as a chorus of voice clones trained on various sources, including family members and archival recordings,” Stiles told nft now in an interview.

“In ‘The First Quartet,’ the Mongolian comes to the foreground, while in others, Mongolian and English are in duet or are performed by a Mongolian-trained voice clone speaking English. For this collection, I’ve translated from English into Mongolian, which is as close as I can get to the endangered Kalmyk dialect using current tools,” she said.

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Stiles’ interest in sound is lifelong. “Voice and music are fundamental to poetry, and both play a huge role in my life. I grew up loving to sing as well as playing piano and violin, and I became music director of my college singing group and even won a national award for one of my arrangements,” she told us.

Her journey into the world of music has continued, shaping her poetic creations. “I’m very lucky to be married to a musical soul, the veteran music producer and DJ Kris Bones, and we’ve collaborated on multi-media poems for a long while now, including the Technelegy audiobook, which is available on Spotify and elsewhere,” she said.

When invited by MakersPlace to collaborate with Bang & Olufsen, whose aim is to reproduce sound with as much fidelity as possible, Stiles was eager to participate. “When MakersPlace approached me with the idea to create an audio-visual project in partnership with B&O, it felt like the perfect fit. B&O’s devices are gorgeously designed and meticulously calibrated instruments, objects of beauty, vastly different from the audio setups in most gallery and museum settings. I knew instantly that I wanted to pay homage to the oral tradition and the importance of voice and sound to poetry at large and in nomadic poetry and folklore in particular. From concept and theme to performance and installation, that’s been the guiding force—that intimacy between mouth and ear, in human and transhuman variations,” she said.

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“I knew instantly that I wanted to pay homage to the oral tradition and the importance of voice and sound to poetry at large and in nomadic poetry and folklore in particular.”

sasha stiles

The heart of the collection is a set of video poems, with vibrantly colored patterns and the poem texts running along with the entrancing audio. One of the poems, “Humanifesto,” has a dedication: “for Sasha,” and we were intrigued by this very human touch. The poem itself is arresting: it begins,

“I want it to end, and never end:

my ache, this bottomless ache.

No heart to break, 

only the need for a heart

to be broken.”

Stiles explained: “This entire quartet is written in collaboration with my AI alter ego, but in the case of ‘Humanifesto,’ during the writing process, Technelegy offered up the dedication ‘to Sasha’—related, no doubt, to the prevalence of dedications in the training data. Given that this transhuman poem is about the fate of humanity, it felt important to incorporate these two words into the final version,” she said.

This drop, which will be available for auction on the Ethereum blockchain, is not the end of Stiles’ exploration of Kalmyk language and heritage in her work. “My ongoing project involves working with and recording my mother and other Kalmyk speakers and combining human and machinic wisdom to further explore, translate, perform, and preserve,” she said.

The post Exclusive: Sasha Stiles Drops Poetry Collaboration With Bang & Olufsen appeared first on nft now.

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