“Over the last years nearly everyone on my father’s side of my family died. That isn’t interesting. What’s interesting is that I gave up memorializing, and anyways the dead aren’t gone.
I wanted to end how I thought about death, end how I felt time. I wanted to make a system to play with the permanent presence of the past, everything that’s always all over me. Put my fist into the archive, get it in my teeth.”
Asa Horvitz took two thousand books and trained a machine learning system (AI) on them. It’s like the layers of the Talmud, the inverted Tree of Life that grows backwards into History, Aby Warburg’s Atlas, Benjamin’s Arcades, Proust. But it’s not like any of these things. It’s Artificial Intelligence as a way to generate futures from the material past, Artificial Intelligence as an attempt to raise the dead from the archive, Artificial Intelligence as a goodbye to looking for answers… and when an answer comes, maybe the real question is unknown.
“When I sing, I’m with words, with melody, with a form. It’s an absolutely material situation, but around that, something else begins to arrive. Sometimes it becomes unclear what is me, what is the song, what is memories, the dead, you, the room. The future collapses. The undividable present stretches out and is filled up with the past. You are permitted to be overwhelmed. Benjamin wrote something like this, that through remembrance, every moment could become the straight gate through which a new time might appear.”
GHOST is the second part of a Trilogy. Watch a preview video of the first part here.