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William Quail’s Pyramid
DocLab

William Quail’s Pyramid

Piotr Winiewicz, Constant Dullaart
Netherlands, Denmark
2023
35 min
World Premiere
IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction, IDFA DocLab: Phenomenal Friction
Synopsis

Will an Artificial Intelligence ever be capable of creating a genuine, original work of art? Some would argue that, while AI systems have become exponentially better at imitating all human forms of expression, creating art requires a soul. But what is that soul? Is it really in the work of art? Or is it in the meaning that we as viewers automatically ascribe to it?

This video installation pushes the boundaries of this attribution of meaning. An AI system was trained on the linguistic elements of Akkadian, a language from the time of the mythical Tower of Babel, to produce glossolalia, or to “speak in tongues.” This Babylonian babbling, spoken by a synthetic voice, was converted into English subtitles by speech-to-text AI, adding another layer of confusion.

Meanwhile, the AI-generated visual stream does not contain the impressively detailed AI illustrations we are now familiar with, but instead damaged, ambiguous and distorted images that leave room for our own interpretation. Does the “soul”of the artwork lie in this interpretation? In the AI? Or in the meeting of the two?

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Credits
35 min
color / black and white
cross-platform
Spoken languages: English
Director
    Piotr Winiewicz,
    Constant Dullaart
    Piotr Winiewicz,
    Constant Dullaart
Production
    Kaspar Hauser,
    Constant Dullaart for Studio Dull
    Kaspar Hauser,
    Constant Dullaart for Studio Dull
Executive producer
    Mads Damsbo
    Mads Damsbo
Co-production
    RNDR studio
    RNDR studio
Key collaborator
    Esbern Kaspersen,
    Jeroen Barendse for RNDR studio
    Esbern Kaspersen,
    Jeroen Barendse for RNDR studio
Technical artist
    Esbern Kaspersen,
    Edwin Jakobs
    Esbern Kaspersen,
    Edwin Jakobs
Music
    Lars Bech Pilgaard
    Lars Bech Pilgaard
Screening copy
    Piotr Winiewicz
    Piotr Winiewicz

Stills

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More from the program section IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction
This competition showcases works in which the artistic potential of new technologies is utilised to the full to tell stories.
View program section
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(this conversation is) Off the Record

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