The following prompts (in bold) were input into OpenAI’s GPT-3 Beta Playground using the Davinci model. The text in italics was the output for the prompts completed by GPT-3. The collected outputs were combined to produce the final text for the performance.
Instructions for a religious ceremony:
Let the mind rest at ease, and breathe regularly… .
Look around carefully with your ears… . Look around carefully with
your eyes… .
Be aware of all the formations that take place in the body
until there is nothing more to detect,
reflecting that there is no more or less of them… .
Once again look carefully with your mind until you see all the bile,
blood, phlegm, pus,
and whatever else there may be.
Voluntary bodily sensations brought in by the mind:
Sickness, unusual breathing, dizziness, light-headedness,
danger, happiness, tiredness, discomfort, and agitation.
Voluntary bodily sensations occurring along with the breathing:
When the in-breath or
the out-breath gets long or short… .
When the breath gets fine or coarse… .
When the breaths are shallow or deep… .
As the breathing becomes subtle,
look carefully at the different parts of the body that are affected… .
Organisms alternately come into being and pass away.
In one quarter they dissolve,
in another they arise.
That is on account of the elements that make them up… .
Looking carefully, the recurrence of awareness makes the
mind peaceful and steady… .
Looking carefully, the element of space is one thing,
awareness is another; because of that space is empty and
awareness is having no thing to cling to.
The event that arises, disappears after having arisen,
and then the consciousness sinks into an imperceptible place.
When one sees it there, it becomes one… .
Instructions for a psychedelic religious ceremony:
Step 1 Light incense.
Step 2 Patiently wait until the sun goes down.
Step 3 Unroll large piece of paper and place in the middle of room
with all possible ceremonies written on it.
Step 4 Tear up into pieces.
Step 5 Say that those pieces don’t mean anything now,
but maybe if you find them all and find the right order they
could mean something.
Step 6 Close.
Ten instructions for a religious ceremony inspired by Demeter:
Sacrifice the cake by night whenever you wish.
The reader should have by his side a mirror, and a cup of water.
He should be decently and seemly arrayed.
Standing, facing the east, he should invoke Aphrodite with lustral water,
saying three times, 'O Aphrodite, goddess with threefold root,
three limbs, and three faces, grant that my prayer be given.'
Instructions for a cult ceremony:
What would they say if they saw us? Would they call us the wise and the mad
Production Date: February 18, 2021. Performed by Rine Rodin.
The Wise and the Mad encapsulates personal traumas experienced whilst growing up within a religious cult. It has never been easy to express the struggle of emancipating myself. Throughout my practice I have worked with digital media and computers, but the GTP-3 was a necessary new prism through which I could address these themes. A childhood inside of a religious cult is a constant confrontation with an absolute patriarch authority who interprets everything in the world as either good or evil. Leaving a cult is also about entering the void of no rules, a world in which you are alone and unprotected. GTP-3 provided a new set of guidelines that were less absolute.
– Rine Rodin