“Slow Gods #6” by Johnny Dean Mann

Johnny Dean Mann


Slow Gods #6 by Johnny Dean Mann

objkt.com | image/gif

Illuminated poetry via slow GIFs—a long-form, collaborative project with AI. #6: “The less humans are bound by their tradition, the greater the internal stirring of motives.”

Full Text:
No strings on me.
What a peculiar thing
to be free of strings.
But let’s not focus on that,
come laugh with me
crawling on pointed knees,
into the world of sleep.
No, no: you shouldn’t sleep
sleep is a weak kind of safety,
so too dreams,
full of anxious mess.
Stay awake until the sun sets
and keep yourself
there, there.
The sun sets under the water
for those within.
Their wind is fleck with
crab dust from a floor of air
and end of line leaves
muffling to the mud
of their eventual sky.
Gravity is merely tradition
motives unstirred by light or sign
a localised past, drying,
much as a wilting plant
ungreens itself to pieces.
It’s the shape of done things.
Strings for you too.

from Rattle #80, Summer 2023
Tribute to NFT Poets


Johnny Dean Mann: “The aim with my literary NFT works is to investigate the interplay of technology and the written word, and how those concepts relate to our internal struggles with assimilating and coping with experience and the imperfections and fallibility of memory. Technology, in this context, has the capability to augment, enhance, limit, oppose—even destroy the creative potential of humans. The multifaceted, fast-changing nature of AI tools, in particular, acts almost as another frame of reference to cope with, both in terms of existence itself and in terms of producing creative work. Slow Gods is a series of deliberately slow GIFs presenting a complicated series of interchanging phases of human and AI influence to establish a kind of meta-philosophy of a fictional post-singularity world. This is a deeply collaborative series of poetic works that investigate how philosophical input (a Nietzschean aphorism) is subtly modulated by both a poetic eye and the contributions of a mass dataset trained to mimic humanity in perhaps a better way than any human could. The sheer weight of data-influence at play with AI systems, in collaboration with humans, creates a form of awareness tension. A fight between intelligences performed with utmost gentility, resulting in an outcome coloured by all.” (web)

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