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Frankie Zhang

Fleeting Dock

The project attunes to and (re)imagines the possible memories and futures of the Mission to Seafarers in Port Philip Melbourne, incorporating image and sound generative AI. Seeing the Heritage location as an intersectional dock of colonel history, global industrialisation, a caring dock for the seafarers which the majority came from south-east Asia nowadays, seagulls’ favorite spots, a place filled with unseen and unheard stories waiting to be heard, and a praxis ground for small garden ecology, the project explores a polyphonic approach that (re)imagines the overlapping worlds within Mission to Seafarers, oscillating between their possible past and future. The project is The Electropoetics’ continuous experiments with AI and algorithms as dynamic relations (as an alternative to AI as control technology or corporate magic tools), exploring AI’s potential for exploring unexpected hidden stories.

The speculative sound scape was generated from archival images and AI re-imagined images using sound generative AI, the sound scape includes the AI's imagining seemingly monster like ship horns, the ocean waves and seagulls, the industrial sound from seafarers and their activities. As a praxis of care, this project performs the Heritage’s multiperspective beingness, a liminal space that attunes to and orchestrates polyphonic voices. The (re)imagined stories are interwoven through historical archives, internet data, the building’s material landscape, and the generative AI making unexpected perspectives. The generated animation and sound scape is projected onto the old walls of the now retired mansion house kitchen for seafarers, evoking dialog with the physical traces of the place’s past and future, the gone and yet to come.

Inspired by Karen Barad and Donna Haraway, the approach is a speculative thought experiments aim at (re)imagining future/past non/human worlds beyond the Anthropocene narrative (Chessa Adsit-Morris and Noel Gough, 2016). Post-Anthropocene (re)imagining as methods comes from Harraway’s Speculative fabulation, seeing SF as storytelling and fact-telling; speculative fabulation is the patterning of possible worlds and possible times, gone, here, and yet to come. (Haraway 2016, 31). Margret Atwood’s concept of Ustopia (2011), which can be considered a worldly indeterminacy and a superposition of utopia and dystopia, is a speculative fabulation patterning the possible worlds. Post-Anthropocene (re)imagining in this sense is a way of heterogeneous worldings, an exploration of plurality, a world of overlapping worlds. As such, the world of overlapping worlds opens up multiple times and spaces, making possible the exploration of unheard stories and knowledge, unseen past and future, whilst seeking different modes of responsible engagement with/as the electronic world.

This project experiments with a co-mingled (re)imagination of possible worlds, a speculative fabulation about the traces of hidden dreams. The fabulated tales are interwoven through historical archives, the internet, and image generative AI, and the architectural space of the colonial building, while its past, present, and future overlap and make discourse with each other. Post Anthropocene re/imagining questions and experiments with how we mighty open multiple realities, knowledge, past, and futures, to be revealed and accounted for (Chessa Adsit-Morris and Noel Gough, 2016). While the heterogeneous worlding in the work encourages the public to think in multiple ways and multiple temporalities, and to (re)imagine together different possibilities of living and being.

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