Mundaneum workshop

From Algolit

From 8 to 12 October 2018 (10-18h) the teachers of Digital Arts ARTS² and artists from Algolit, Constant's research group on free code and text, offer a workshop at the Mundaneum in Mons with students of ARTS2, Numediart and other schools, on the use of statistical machine learning models and archival materials for literary writing. The artists will propose existing tools and practices and Oulipian methodologies for the play of algoliterary writing games.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage on two levels:

    • by working with the technical tools, this requires a base of programming, preferably in Python
    • by working analogically and metaphorically using parts of the code as performing scores or 'recipes'

If they are happy to do so, participants in the workshop will be able to continue developing their works after the workshop week, and participate in the exhibition that Algolit will hold at the Mundaneum in March 2019. During 3 intermediate meetings between October and February students will be able to interact with artists and Arts² teachers about their work. All works and code will be published under Free Art & GPL License. The workshop will be conducted mainly in English, with French translations in summary form. If you want to participate, please register by sending an email to An information session will be held at the Mundaneum on September 25, 2018 from 3 to 5 pm.

Algoliterature is a way of situating the machine as a narrator in the world. What interests us is the perspective of the machine, the manufacturing processes and the ideologies behind the interface. We will produce stories and texts from the point of view of the algorithm, the software.

With this in mind, it is possible to make the whole process visible or only a small part (eg ways of transforming text into numbers: one-hot-vector, co-occurrence matrices, tf-idf, techniques for searching patterns in vector spaces : neural networks, Naïve Bayes, accessibility and construction of datasets ....). Each recipe will be contextualised and explained.

By working in this way, we could say, with a wink, that we are the ambassadors of these new botpeople, who occupy an increasingly important place on our planet. They have been conceived as workers in the service of humans, but have gradually become so complex and powerful that they begin to live independently, even if they remain invisible. The creation of algoliterature is an attempt to understand their language and give them a voice, to allow them to enter into dialogue with them, in the idea of making more and more people literate by avoiding the need to study programming intensively for a few years. It is conceptual literary creation with a specific contemporary purpose. Catalogue of the last exhibition in November 2017: