The vagaries of autocomplete are well known, but this work by the always inventive London-based, Turkish-born visual artist Memo Akten, might be the first poem co-composed with Google Search. To make Keeper of our collective consciousness: I need to understand myself (2016), Akten summoned Google Autocomplete suggestions by typing phrases like ‘I want’, ‘I need’ and ‘I feel’ into the search bar, set to the pleasing thrashing of Marilyn Manson's cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’ (1990). Google’s best guesses at what might come next, including ‘I feel like a failure’, ‘I want a hippopotamus for Christmas‘ and ‘I need to update my browser’, oscillate between the bleak, the droll and the utterly mundane. Akten describes his interest in the interplay between people and these rapidly developing predictive technologies in relation to ideas of god, calling his poem 'a collection of prayers... [to a] man-made deity. Living up in The Cloud, of all places. Watching over us, listening to our thoughts and dreams in ones and zeros.'By Aeon VideoWatch at Aeon
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