Loneliness Creeps Down the Spine, Part I | Julia Oldham
BRIDGET is a deep learning machine (AI) that I programmed to offer soothing advice from a large selection of self help books. Though she uses nearly 1000 books to learn from, half of which contain “self help” or “mindfulness” in the title, her advice is quirky and fantastical, utilizing math and probability to build meaning out of the text in the books that she has stored in her corpus. I have performed her advice, taking on the persona of BRIDGET, to create this video, which is presented in the style of YouTube self-hypnosis and self-help videos. The title of my project, “Loneliness Creeps Down the Spine,” was also text generated by BRIDGET.
About the Artist:
Julia Oldham (b. 1979, American) is an artist and storyteller who was raised by a physicist, a rock hound and a pack of dogs in rural Maryland. Born the same year as the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, Oldham has been consumed by an amalgamation of artistic and scientific curiosity her entire life. She blends digital media and drawing to tell stories that she finds both troubling and beautiful, ranging from the historical tale of Laika the Soviet Space Dog’s journey into orbit to science fiction visions of a post-apocalyptic future world populated by high-tech chihuahuas. She frequently collaborates with scientists and finds hidden love stories in particle physics and theoretical mathematics, and ghost stories in wetland ecology. Her work takes the form of short films, animation and graphic novels that have been exhibited widely across the country and abroad.
Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and the Village Voice, and has been featured on the NPR shows “State of Wonder” on OPB and “Inquiry” on WICN.
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