Inspired by our research on computation, resources, and the role of human labour and data for AI, Mythical species is a speculative fictional work, reflecting on where CRISPR gene editing, and perception-based technologies, might collide in the future, for the purposes of modern extraction.
The story centres on two lower-level employees of a research centre in Lagos, who through a brief affair and a strange encounter with an octopus, find out they're autonomous hosts for the purposes of cross-species intelligence extraction, in order to maintain a semantic representation of the world, but not the world itself.
"He sat back on the sofa and swallowed, where his thoughts seemed to reside on his tongue, and lift it, each time a new thought formed. He let the last shards of low light that were cutting through the giant palms outside, bathe him as he waited in his domicile. He spread out his toes within the thick rug, and let bristling sensations accrue in his feet. It was getting late, and still no sign of Yemisi. He fidgeted where he sat, feeling overstimulated and unable to think straight. Every thought seemed to collide and reverberate within his body as sensations. He swallowed again and recalled the last piece of octopus on his plate. It was the end of a tentacle and compared to the rest, it was undercooked; slimy and rubbery to touch, whether with his fork or his tongue, but he ate it anyway."
A quote from Mythical Species
The first iteration of this speculative project appears in Retro Future, a new publication by Next Nature, a research centre in Eindhoven thinking about how biology and technology are fusing.
Both complete works and experiments, thinking never breaks stride. Check back in as we add more.