New Confessions – Luke Munn

machine, text, outputs

A series of apparently hand-written documents which admit to future misconducts. The authenticity and intimacy associated with the personal letter is emulated by using a recent machine learning framework which synthesizes human handwriting. This framework disassembles writing samples into letterforms through both automatic detection and ‘human in loop’ processes. New word combinations can then be formed by smoothly combining glyphs while retaining the patterns characteristic to any particular handwriting: flow, spacing, offsets, ink density, and so on. In this way one’s ‘style’, typically regarded as individual and idiosyncratic, becomes another set of discrete variables which can be learned and weighted by a universal machine. The project sits alongside recent artworks such as New Anxieties (2016) and New Biologies (2016) which also tap into broader computational imaginaries—in their attempt to anticipate and exhaust the future, algorithmic operations assert new ways of seeing, making and understanding in the present.

Luke Munn uses the body and code, objects and performances to activate relationships and responses. His projects have featured in the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Fold Gallery London, Causey Contemporary Brooklyn and the Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum, with commissions from Aotearoa Digital Arts, and TERMINAL. He is a Studio Supervisor at Whitecliffe College of Art & Design and a current PhD Candidate at Western Sydney University.