■ The Torah Is My Dataset and Machines Are My Prophets

Daniel Berio, Liat Grayver 

Collegium Helveticum and Goldsmith University of London 2023

“The Torah Is My Dataset and Machines Are My Prophets" (2023) done in collaboration with Daniel Berio, comprises a series of plotted pencil and pen drawings programmed based on text analysis and generation algorithms developed by the hacker V.Nos, (Black Hole Consulting) under Grayver concept development and artistic curation. Inspired by Kaballah mysticism and using the ancient Jewish numerical system of Gematria (a system of assigning numerical values to letters in an alphabet, typically for the purpose of uncovering hidden meanings and connections within words, phrases, and texts. It is often used in Jewish mystical traditions, particularly within Kabbalah). The algorithm seeks to encipher the Torah Code and uncover prophetic texts that are then visualized with a highly abstracted cypher of asemic glyphs.

An initial sequence of Hebrew text is generated from the first chapter of the book of Genesis and according to the Equidistant Letter Sequence (ELS) algorithm, a method commonly used in Gematria.

 While the initial Hebrew ELS output does not consist of readable and grammatical sentences, the output is then fed to Google Translate which functions as an “oracle”. The Hebrew output undergoes a transformation into an English interpretation, a process that extends seamlessly to other contemporary languages such as Spanish and Italian. Remarkably, Google Translate yields a sentence imbued with prophetic significance. This noteworthy result underscores the remarkable capabilities of powerful language generation mechanisms like Google's, adept at establishing plausible word correlations and contextual coherence, even within texts presenting inherent challenges. This output is then translated again into Hebrew, from the language deemed most similar by Google’s translation system. The output “prophecy” is then rendered with a cypher of twenty-two algorithmically generated symbols that are combined and interlocked into an abstract composition with geometric transformations that are inspired by techniques used to sketch graffiti art.

The result is finally drawn on paper with ink using a pen plotter. By visualizing the texts using machine-plotted lines, the artwork seeks to represent the balance between order and chaos, reflecting the human desire to find patterns and assign meaning as a form of control. The decision to keep the work abstract is intended to avoid the subjectivity and locality that written text can evoke and instead point to the underlying structure that holds our set of beliefs together. The resulting artwork is thought-provoking and invites deep contemplation and interpretation of how human beliefs are influencing the creation of contemporary and historical knowledge.

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