Educated Ether, an artificial intelligence trained by the artist duo Saloranta & de Vylder, has acted as playwright and dramaturg in this vaguely post-apocalyptic performance where we get to follow a musician, an opera singer and an acrobat in a portrayal of what life is. Through choreography, song, and acrobatics, we meet the characters in their emotions and human commitments – like starting a band, selling insurance at an airport or describing the inscrutability of existence.
- Dansens Hus: Elverket
- November 30, 2023
- 70 Minutes
"We have been in Stockholm to work with Björk and it has been a fantastic experience. There's no way back to what we had before. It's over for ever. Just one day ago, we started talking about starting a band. We'll name it Starseed."
Saloranta & de Vylder (Olle Strandberg Colling and Sara de Vylder) wanted to create a performing arts performance that steps outside their own creative framework but still accommodates their personal tonality and expression. They therefore fed a in-house developed, non-commercial AI language model with Olle Strandberg Colling's collected texts. The language model was named Educated Ether and was trained to write scene descriptions and instructions. Educated Ether created a raw script material which was then interpreted by a creative team led by Saloranta & de Vylder and designed into TOSBOT*.
*The AI Educated Ether who helped write the show also dubbed it the long title “This is the Still Place Presents: Tomorrow Officially Sucks but Today is the Best (TOSBOT)”. We say “TOSBOT” for simplicity.
Educated Ether is a large-scale language model (AI) developed by computer scientist and prominent language model developer Kajsa Norin together with Saloranta & de Vylder. The AI is trained on Olle Strandberg's texts from the last decade to learn his tonality and lines of thought. The big difference between Educated Ether and more general language models is how it is created to reach a specific level of excellence in order to act as a personal artistic AI assistant. It is an artificial intelligence that, unlike the commercial models, is allowed to remain raw and unfiltered in its expression and is allowed to be created in an environment peculiarly free from the dominant ideas and mindsets of the outside world.
Artistic direction and choreography
Room & Costume
Light concept and renderings
Composition and sound design
Sara de Vylder
Text & instructions
Art direction and graphic design
Photography and film
Sara de Vylder