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BA (Hons) Sound Arts students explore the power of conspiracy theories through machine learning

An illustration of an eye and an ark.
An illustration of an eye and an ark.
Image credit: Ark | Chloe Curry
Written by
Chloe Murphy
Published date
06 October 2021

Sound is intrinsic to developing truly immersive creative experiences. From art installations and community projects to virtual reality and new media, exploring both its art and design offers opportunities to develop new approaches, questions and concepts within the contemporary world.

London College of Communication (LCC) enables students to consider sound across a range of diverse contexts through our BA (Hons) and MA Sound Arts courses, both of which have close ties to the celebrated Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice centre, CRiSAP.

By exploring the rich complexities of sound as an artistic practice, students are able to grow their own interests in all things sonic while applying their creativity to produce interesting and original work. With expert support from tutors, lecturers and industry guests, they're encouraged to mature and expand their potential as future practitioners of the discipline.

Ark | BA (Hons) Sound Arts

Ark

"Welcome to Ark. Conceived and curated by MOOGZ of Mytetra.

Ark is comprised of three videos which share startling newly uncovered evidence created in collaboration with artists, researchers and the ‘micrpboletan’ machine learning engine."

In summer 2021, BA (Hons) Sound Arts students worked with artists, researchers and artificial intelligence to develop work which responded to novel and artificial conspiracy theories through their collaborative project, Ark.

3 contributors synthesised short written works which were then absorbed into the InferKit GPT-2 machine learning engine. This process resulted in a series of entirely fabricated theories developed at the intersection of humans and machines, which were then complemented by a range of fictional summaries and mock supporting evidence generated through mixed media approaches such as sound, painting and photography.

As a project, Ark not only demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of sound as a discipline, but also the innovation generated from bold and creative approaches to technology.

A mock promotional image featuring a carton of oat milk.
Image credit: Ark | Paola Vertemati

0% Funge

“This year, we’ve been bombarded with new truths about non-fungible tokens - but what news could this be a convenient distraction from?

Paola Vertemati, a pro-fungibility researcher, reveals the role that the shady ‘funge’ hormone plays in Berlin’s ethical alternative and vegan food supply chain.”

A topographical sketch surrounded by conspiracy theories.
Image credit: Ark | Mernywernz

Smart Volcanoes

“Developed by Mernywernz, this conspiracy theory unravels the real story of Ghislaine Maxwell in a tapestry of seismological intrigue.

We’ve all become more invested in understanding the quality of our air, and some of us internet citizens have taken a particularly keen interest in the potential for geopolitically motivated tampering with our respiratory functions.”

A sketch of a Roman tablet.
Image credit: Ark | Ben Banks

Pyro Nero

“Pyro Nero is an historical conspiracy theory illustrating that Rome wasn’t quietly burnt in a day.

But new research unveiled by forensic musicologist Ben Banks has lit a short fuse to blow wide open Emperor Nero’s connections with the dangerously rhythmic Braintree-based despots, the Prodigy, and their 1995 UK Chart hit, Firestarter.”

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