Indefinite Couplet is a real-time generative audiovisual world, composed of abstract elements, that evolve into an aimless yet functional machine.

Ali Phi’s real-time generative performance is inspired by the imaginative elements found in the texts of Polish science fiction author, Stanislav Lem and the recurring themes present in the writings of 13th century Persian poet, Rumi. With additional references to quantum science, spirituality, and cosmology, Indefinite Couplet is a code-driven machine that depicts the fantasy world of the artist, achieved through his engagement with custom-designed and pre- programmed audiovisual software. The work evolves, live, through the artist’s interactions throughout the performance.

A poetic approach controls the output of this audiovisual artwork. The artist collaborates with materials drawn from images of nature documented by drones, open-source libraries containing images of other planets collected through decades of space exploration, visual programming created using artificial intelligence and generative adversarial networks, and big data conversion techniques. The performance’s design is further based on particles, scientific motifs, data processing, and the dynamic within ambient and electronic sound design. Most dominantly, the artwork’s aesthetic emerges from scientific visualisations of the 1980’s, the period when Lem’s work was most actively reimagined and adapted for motion pictures.

Together, all these sources of inspiration combined with Lem’s unique worldview and Rumi’s transcendental intuition shapes the artist’s vision, with a distance of 800 years at the intersection of art, science, technology, and mysticism.

Premiere of the online broadcast of the performance realised at the ARSENAL Gallery of Contemporary Art in Toronto.
The project was created as part of the Krakow cultural program Krakow Culture.