ERYK SALVAGGIO, cyborg fungi music – sound media for nonhuman intelligence, Piotr Bockowski, δημοσίευση στο CLOT Magazine [24/10/2022]Marilena Pateraki
Eryk Salvaggio’s most recent album release, Worlding, involves fungi manipulating the knobs of a specially designed synthesiser that intercepts fungal nervous system signals and translates them into electronic sounds via cables plugged into mycelium. This maverick performance of bio-hacking follows Eryk’s previous experiments with AI-assisted art, and at the same time, it recognises mediations of fungi as a more sophisticated approach to technology and sentience than criticised by him as “technocratic AI obsessions”.
At the beginning of the dystopian Australian covid lockdown in 2020, Eryk was isolated in a studio across the street from the largest supercomputer in the Southern Hemisphere, where he created a ‘music band’ together with AI – in an act that he recognises now as a desperate attempt to fight against human loneliness within the technologically controlled world. He put into practice his studies of Applied Cybernetics in order to create ‘underground pop music’ with artificial intelligence. The AI generated some lyrics trained on cybernetics, situationist and feminist texts, as well as produced samples for tracks based on GPS tracking of animal movements. Engendered by Vocaloid voice synthesiser, the Organising Committee project of Eryk’s “cyborg pop” incorporated a heavy mix of analogue recorded and digitally produced sounds.
Calculated as a push of ideologies of computation ‘beyond the binary’, artificial intelligence music-making fed by data coming from technological surveillance of organic life only inspired Eryk’s electronic sound experiments to engage more uncompromisingly with the alien intelligence of nonhuman biology. Eventually, Eryk found a sense of meaningful kinship with fungal companions of the human species.
Worlding invites listeners to communicate with fungi as the most vital media and superior nonhuman intelligence within what Eryk calls the ‘cybernetic forest‘, which comprises of ‘data-animated’ digital processes in intimate conjunction with organic continuity of analogue processes. Both types of processes are combined in a vitalist understanding of database technologies, which contextualise machinic computations through participation in the living biosphere.
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