What you are seeing are four different processes re-writing eight selected wikipedia entries using revision/deleted data from wikipedia.org: Art, Artificial Intelligence, Ideology, Justice, Anarchism, Truth, Consciousness, and Tradition. There is a text-to-speech component where the computers are reading aloud the entries as they write them. Once they are finished re-writing an entry, they update and revise again, using the same data/language model but producing new results. Lastly, there is an encrypted message broadcast through streaming audio over a captive portal wifi.
In 1947, Warren Weaver, widely considered the father of human/computer language processing stated that “the problem of translation could conceivably be treated as a problem in cryptography. When I look at an article in Russian, I say: 'This is really written in English, but it has been coded in some strange symbols. I will now proceed to decode.'” Many in the computational linguistics field have argued over the years whether or not Weaver's assessment of translation is applicable or not. One needs only to go to Google's translation page to discover how far we are from direct language to language translation. Those who speak other languages, such as myself, understand that a direct cryptographic association is not a one-to-one correlation. However, I would propose that what we have lacked in the past and what we are now attaining at this time is a large enough corpus of data to clarify appropriate correlations.
Wikipedia.org has become a repository for mainstream understanding of truth. The model for writing Wikipedia stems from a dialogic-anarchist system where anyone can alter an entry, but those who disagree with you will challenge that information. The process of accepting content is not the result of voting, but through editing and a concessive discussion. The Foucauldian panoptic model of power details that the “exercise of power is not uniform and linear, but full of contradictions and irregularities that are constantly being challenged and reinterpreted.” (Pope-Davis, p. 94) All content removed through this non-democratic method of community editing are listed in the Wikipedia deletion log. By using this database, the computers in this room are mediating between information which has been deleted and information which has won the power struggle, by assigning each individual word a statistical value of occurrence.
Through my work, I investigate human/machine/human mediations through the manipulation of social language. I create frameworks where the artwork comes from power struggles between groups.