HAI, satellite chinese whispers


One of the most obscure aspect of digital technology lies in its supreme inner complexity, constantly growing. The dark zones of running software through nanoscale scale circuits are clearly challenging human understanding of what’s really happening, step by step, at a given moment. There’s a universe
of small but essential communication that hides in the dusky realm of networked data and sometimes a piece of that is lost forever, or wanders in some digital storage, perhaps being once suddenly retrieved starting to live again, same as it was or seamlessly distorted. You’ll never know. Luca Bertini is an artist dealing with some peculiar themes, like this, developing an aesthetic of “data accidents”, where crucial instants can radically change the meaning of an artificial existence. His recent HAI (Japanese word for “I agree with you, you’re right”) is a work that can be defined as playing chinese whispers with satellite communication protocols. The artist developed a generative software in Python called Umidasu (that means “invent” or “generate” in Japanese) that automatically creates phrases. It runs only once and the phrase enters the communication flux, starting to hop among three different satellites in Asia, America and Europe and their respective reference platforms on the Earth. Another software called Kanchigai (that means “misunderstanding” in Japanese) runs on every occurring hop, possibly altering the phrase, possibly not. In this mechanisms Bertini persevere in building conceptual technologies functioning only once and starting an unpredictable process with human-like behaviours. In fact it closely reminds the romantic and endless net travel of the two viruses he developed for Vi-con, dealing with similar intriguing and mysterious communication among machines. In HAI the conversation, or the exchange of digital signals, is private and efficient, but deprived of scope, sense and clarity. So in the end deprived of the conversation (essence) itself.