The answer to life, the universe, and everything -Collective 42

Today we got stuck into the core of what we wanted to create and we even gave ourselves a name – Collective 42. Named after the answer from the all-knowing computer in the famous novel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Clip from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (film of the novel)

As we are searching for answers to questions about life, the universe – everything, spoken by philosophers from Germany, India and the UK, we also wondered whether AI may be the answer?

Miro Board with ideas for final artwork
Talking Hasan and Kamya through our idea for our film

We have decided to make a film, using the search engine as a framework of curiosity to create a story of chapters answering existential questions about humans and nature, to create a conversation with philosophers of the past, whilst asking the question – is AI the answer?

If we have time, this artwork could also be realised as an interactive browser-based artwork.

I plan to add ambient soundscapes into each of the chapters.

We started to put some of our quotes together, to see how they’d create a story:

Smu  “Nature is not put together by thought, as religion and beliefs are. Nature is the tiger, that extraordinary animal with its energy, its great sense of power. Nature is the solitary tree in the field, the meadows and the grove; it is that squirrel shyly hiding behind a bough. Nature is the ant, the bee and all the living things of the earth. 

Cat – The trouble with human beings is not really that they love themselves too much; they ought to love themselves more. The trouble is simply that they don’t love others enough. “The End of Anthropocentrism?”

We each chose a deceased philosopher from our own country and I chose Mary Midgley, who agreed with the GAIA theory about all living things and our planet.

British Philosopher – Mary Midgley

We each made an animated head using portraits of our chosen philosophers, using quotes from what they had said and our own voices as an input into the conversation.

The trouble with humans beings is not really that they love themselves too much, they ought to love themselves more. The trouble is simply, that they don’t love others enough.

Mary Midgley (used in my video)

I also experimented with animating faces in nature and endangered British animals too, to explore the question – if nature could talk to us, what would it say? This didn’t work well with the software, so I decided not to use it, as the portrait needs to be a defined human face.

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