Book launch and conversation with Michael Mandiberg and K Allado-McDowell

August 24, 2023
6-8 PM

Join us for a conversation with Michael Mandiberg and K Allado-McDowell on the occasion of three recently-published titles by Mandiberg: The Magnificent Gatsby, Ethics: Essays Collected from Plagiarism Websites, and The Mountweazel Dictionary. The pair will discuss themes of ethics and authorship in relation to AI technology.

The Magnificent Gatsby is an uncanny retelling of The Great Gatsby, paraphrased with AI software. Transformed through the same tools used by content farms that spin out zombie clickbait webpages, this text reveals society’s willingness to cheat to get what we want, the elaborate facades that we put up for others, and ultimately the technical impossibility of the American Dream.

Ethics: Essays Collected from Plagiarism Websites is an edited collection of short topical essays on basic notions of ethics and philosophy, all gathered from sample essay websites meant ‘to inspire student writing.’ In reality the arguments in these essays are often paraphrased or plagiarized by students as if they were their own.

The Mountweazel Dictionary collects all known instances of invented words that have been inserted into reference books to detect unauthorized copying. It is a reference text for the creative ways we assuage our anxieties of being copied. Named after the fake entry for “Lillian Virginia Mountweazel,” editors of dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference books as far back as Samuel Johnson’s 1755 dictionary have placed fake entries in their volumes to catch anyone who might copy their entire text, fake words and all.

Michael Mandiberg is an interdisciplinary artist whose work manifests the poetics and politics of our digital world. This approach crosses media and evades stable categorization: from large-scale installations like Print Wikipedia’s 7,473 books, to custom software driven durational performance like Quantified Self Portrait, to socially engaged collaborations such as Art+Feminism, of which they are a co-founder. Their projects have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New Museum, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris amongst others. Their work has been written about widely, including Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal. Mandiberg is Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island/CUNY and Doctoral Faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center.

K Allado-McDowell is a writer, speaker, and musician. They are the author, with GPT-3, of the books Pharmako-AI, Amor Cringe, and Air Age Blueprint, and are co-editor of The Atlas of Anomalous AI. They created the neuro-opera Song of the Ambassadors, and record and release music under the name Qenric. K established the Artists + Machine Intelligence program at Google AI. They are a conference speaker, educator and consultant to think-tanks and institutions seeking to align their work with deeper traditions of human understanding.