Taking Care of Futurism, #2 (The DALL-E Experiment/Heliotrope)

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March 24, 2023 by tsk2001

From Heliotrope:

I pause in my bedroom, looking around at the shelves and a stack of books I left here for island reading. At the top of the stack, strangely enough, is Open at the Neck: A Cultural History of Decollation, by Gina Jane Raynes, a Stanford prof whose book I picked off a desk in some class when I was a frosh, it was forgotten or abandoned, heavily highlighted though, so not unread. I remember thinking then that she had a “natural” porn name, assuming that’s her real name, and she looked MILF-beyond-sylph hot on the back-cover pic too, all big and busty. I turn the paperback over and she looks hotter than ever, a bit like my mother, actually, voluptuously middle-aged and ripe to bursting in a button-down shirt that’s very open at the neck with plenty of spilled cleavage—kinda weird for a university press, I guess, but what the fuck, it was half the reason I took the book. At that time, of course, I had no idea of the cultural significance that decapitation—which is what decollation means, I confess I had to look it up at the time, back when the fucking Internet worked—would assume in the near future. I take the book with me. Do celadons read? I’m gonna find out. I need to pump up my intellect. My body is already there.


Also from Heliotrope:

She pauses, frowning slightly, looking mildly concerned, struts up to the cell, pulls on the door, finds it locked. “How’d you lock yourself in the cell? Where’d you get the grenades?”

OK, she can see the grenades, at least I’m not dreaming. “From Nikki. She was here last night.”

“Your mother didn’t contact you?”

“No, Nikki did. I mean, she was here with me, bodily. I’m not clear on all the details, but she was here. She called first. Are you here alone?”

“Yeah. I kinda overslept from the Oxys, just jumped in the Pony and came over, the others weren’t even up yet. I knew I needed to get to you.”

“How’d you know? Was I sending you distress signals?”

“Not in so many words. Just intuition. I dreamed about the LaHand Galaxy. A galaxy called LaHand. I could visualize the word in the dream.” She spells it for me.

“Is there a galaxy called LaHand?”

“Not that I know of. I seriously doubt it. You know, it occurs to me that Hank has the Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia on a buncha CD-ROMs here. It’s a fucking great resource in a world with no Internet.”

Not too fucking relevant to me at this moment. “Well, what’d you dream about the LaHand Galaxy?”

“That we were going there. You and I. It mighta been a metaphor.”


Author’s note: My initial experience of Dall-E. Seeking an image of a sculpturally-based Gina Jane Raynes dreaming of the LaHand Galaxy (a galaxy that did indeed emerge from a dream), I requested thus:

“Umberto Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space seen from a side view as a young, beautiful, extremely muscular and voluptuous red-haired woman in a Day-Glo bikini on a field of galaxies.”

“Day-Glo bikini” was substituted for “nude” when DALL-E balked at the original request. Gina Jane Raynes is not young, she’s middle-aged, but never mind that, and the bikinis are actually psychedelically tie-dye in Death Palette, but never mind that as well.

The results:

These images apparently have nothing to do with the Boccioni work, and for some reason the figure is (somewhat ambiguously) nude; moreover, DALL-E has a curiously sedate notion of extreme muscularity and voluptuousness, but at the same time, getting instant art from a seemingly oracular source surely illustrates Marinetti’s contention that “the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed.”

Or, as he said in The Book of Haiku Revelation:

Open your heart to
unknown forces in order
to overcome art

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Death Palette, by Terry S. Kattleman, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
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