Digital Demonology:
XG in the Walker Art Reader

In early 2023, I asked ChatGPT who I was. This is somewhat embarrassing to admit, as an act only one step removed from Googling oneself, but the response provided by this artificial intelligence was both surprising and inspiring. It hardly confirmed my sense of self, but rather called it into question.

I was very excited to receive this commission from the Walker Art Center, whose work I’ve followed online for many, many years. (The number of nights I’ve fallen asleep to this Anne Carson talk are uncountable.)

It’s an essay about ChatGPT and its automation of (dis)content, as well as Mark Fisher’s modernist blogging and the legacy of the Ccru.

Huge thanks to Jake Yuzna for the invitation, and to Aaron Anderson and Eric Timothy Carlson for the perfect illustrations (three included here).

You can read the essay here as part of the special issue, “Content and its Discontents”.

It is also an essay that is appearing at a convenient time, as my continuing interest in the uses and abuses of ChatGPT has somewhat supplanted older experiments with bots online, such as @_geopoetics, which has just been made redundant following recent changes to the Twitter API. For more on that, check out my recent blogpost here.

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