Anaïs Berck, An algoliterary publishing house
During this residency Anaïs Berck proposes to explore the idea of a decolonial publishing house in which the authors will be algorithms, presented with their contexts and codes; and in which the content of the books will be defined by trees and nature. By putting trees and their representations at the center of their works, and by welcoming algorithms not at the service of extracting resources or value towards a commercial objective, but for making kin with nature, these intelligences create narratives which speak about trees and also challenge colonial views of classification, methods of standardization, and might speak critically about the effects of dominant cultures.
While it feels like a simple challenge to make a distinction between a tree and a shrub, formulating a common definition of a tree is still an ongoing discussion in biology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree#Definition). Similarly converting seemingly well-defined real world concepts like a tree into digital models is riddled with challenges.
Anaïs Berck is an alias that exists since September 2019. The name stands for a collaboration between humans, algorithms and trees. As a collective Anais Berck opens up a space in which human intelligence is explored in the company of plant intelligence and artificial intelligence. For this project, Anaïs Berck is represented by the human beings An Mertens, Gijs de Heij (http://osp.kitchen/) and Loren Britton (https://www.lorenbritton.com/). It is not clear yet which algorithms or trees will participate in this residency.
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The residency is granted by the Vlaamse Overheid as part of their 'Digital Culture Residencies' program.