I Magma by Jenna Sutela in collaboration with Memo Akten and Allison Parrish is a machine oracle performing divinations on our collective futures. The decentralised intelligence meditates on live video footage from inside head-shaped lava lamps, while weaving constellations between the GPS coordinates of its online followers. A computer generates oracular readings from the shapes that form using a neural network trained on public domain source texts from the Internet Sacred Texts Archive. Additional lexical items are inspired by and borrowed from Erowid’s Shulgin Archives, a series of lab notebooks that detail psychedelic experience.
Readings appear within the app every 30 seconds and as push notifications once a day.
Jenna Sutela is an artist working with words, sounds, and other living media, such as Bacillus subtilis nattō bacteria and the “many-headed” slime mold Physarum polycephalum. Her audiovisual pieces, sculptures, and performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology.
Jenna Sutela with Memo Akten, language generation by Allison Parrish, 2019
UI and app development by Black Shuck
Co-commissioned by Serpentine Galleries and Moderna Museet
Eurotica Bugs typeface by Helsinki Type Studio
Supported on Android 8.0 and above
Digital engagement supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Serpentine Galleries is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.