The Amme Talks is a conversation between a writer and a milk-spilling chatbot who promises to liberate speech (and revolutionize poetry) via words that refer to nothing but themselves. The book hinges on a series of dialogues between the poet Ulf Stolterfoht and the titular bot, whose name means “wet nurse” in German. Shane Anderson, the translator of The Amme Talks, will introduce the publication, which is available from Triple Canopy as a paperback and ebook. Then artist and composer Francesco Cavaliere will premier a new sound work that grants expression to Amme’s multivalent personality, or personalities. Cavaliere’s composition gives voice to Amme through recordings and the outputs of text-to-speech software, which are derived from her conversations with Stolterfoht.
Amme is the creation of artist Peter Dittmer; she is not just a chatbot, actually, but a steel-and-glass construction with a computer interface, which is connected to a glass of milk, a robotic arm that tips over the glass, and a tube that releases water, as if urinating. For one week in 2003, Stolterfoht interrogated Amme, hoping to turn her answers into an essay on poetics. But, as The Amme Talks shows, instead of mining Amme’s performance of an idiosyncratic and mechanical form of human speech, Stolterfoht stumbled on a remarkable “second-order realism” in which words refer not to things but to themselves. Anderson, in his introduction, calls Amme “the first machine that makes poetry.”
Cold Fingers on zis Machine will be hosted by Archive Kabinett.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to ensure that events are accessible and comfortable, we’ll open the doors at 7:00pm and strictly limit admittance to the legal capacity. Please check Triple Canopy’s Facebook and Twitter for updates, as we’ll indicate if events are sold out. Archive Kabinett’s venue is located at Müllerstraße 133, Hinterhof, 13349 Berlin, near U6 Seestraße. The venue is on the ground floor. If you have specific questions about access, please write at least three days before the event and we will make every effort to accommodate you.
- Shane Anderson is the author of Soft Passer (Mindmade Books) and Études des Gottnarrenmaschinen (Broken Dimanche Books). Among other places, his poems, texts and translations have been published in 6x6, Asymptote, Edit, Plinth, Natalie Czech’s Il Pleut series and Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament (Skira Rizzoli). In 2016, he curated the festival HERE! HERE! THERE! @ the ilb at the Berlinerfestspiele and in 2017 he will be a participant in the Skulptur Projekte Münster’s Kur und Kür. Currently, he is working on a book-length essay entitled “Strength in Numbers; or, Learning Hope From Sports.” He lives in Berlin.
- Francesco Cavaliere is an artist and composer based in Berlin. He works with sound, materials, and space to explore diverse forms of esotericism through digital and analog technologies.