Prelude to the broken RAM is an experimental “beta” publication created entirely using new generative artificial intelligence tools which are just on the verge of revolutionizing the way we see and create images, text or video.
The book is meta-commentary on these moments in time where technology redefines what is human creativity and art, through four significant “rhyming” dates:
1827 : The first recorded photograph by Nicephore Niepce
1917 : The creation of “Fountain”, the most famous readymade by Marcel Duchamp
1997 : The AI Deep Blue defeating Gary Kasparov at chess
2027 : A future prediction of the next steps for artificial intelligence.
Prelude to the Broken RAM’s title is a reference to Duchamp’s Prelude to the Broken Arm, as well as a joke on “Random Access Memory”, a central part of computing memory and processing.
Duchamp becomes the central figure of the book; his towering presence continues to ripple into contemporary art discourse. Marcel Duchamp comes after painting already has to reinvent itself because of photography, and goes one step further, suggesting art is created in the mind of the viewer, a cerebral process detached from the technical skill of the artist. The art-object itself can be created without an artist, it can just be taken from an automated factory, and recontextualized in a museum.
The book plays with the strange parallels between photography, readymades, chess and artificial intelligence; Photography threatens the livelihoods of painters. Duchamp dedicated his life to become a chess Grand Master. Deep Blue beats the greatest chess player, only to be itself replaced by better aritificial intelligence. Now AI is seen again as a threat to the role of artists, just as photography was before. Every step of the story is inhabited by the human fear of one day becoming obsolete, replaced by ever more powerful machines.
Prelude to the Broken RAM is a non-linear look at the cycles and parallels of these stories, the open possibilities and fears of the future. The book is created entirely with new generative artificial intelligence tools, experimenting with the very limit of what is possible at this precise moment in time. It is a “beta” publication, in reference to “beta” versions of software. It is a prelude of what’s to come, and an acknowledgment that it is technologically outdated as soon as it comes out. These generative algorithms have only started exploding onto the general public since last spring, and everyday brings new advancements that expand what is possible to create without any technological or artistical knowledge.