Machinic Farewell

The second issue of Nokturno in 2023 is filled with AI-aphorisms, a glitching soundscape of a kinetic audiobook and the wet longing of a lentic ecosystem. Meanwhile a conceptual, photographic take on language as bricks, a severely twisted blues animation and an IT-cul-de-sac contribute to the whole. In the end it's time to say goodbye.

The summer Nokturno begins with a selection of machinic aphorisms. Lento #1 (“Flight #1”) by poet Jonne Piltonen and musician Heikki Saarenkunnas floods its expressional space with AI-assisted aphorisms. The composed and animated whole utilizes GPT-J language model and Stable Diffusion image generator as basis of its expression.

Manuaali (“A Manual”), a “kinetic audiobook” by performance art group virate.me, takes full control of the machines it utilizes. The video recording of the book published in Nokturno is a bodily reading of a meticulously composed and arranged text. The work offers a fresh, experimental and hypnotic take on the topic of audio books.

In Umpikuja (“A Dead End”), a video poem by Sanna Telkki-Kova, there’s “a decreased output in the motherboard” and “the graphics card is spitting out ink”. Telkki-Kova’s IT-cul-de-sac encourages to search for expressive matter beyond the realm of technological machines.

Maija Saksman’s Öinen outo blues (“Strange Nocturnal Blues”) meshes together the expressive tradition of roots music and the tradition of live illustrations made for children, once prominent in the Finnish television. Saksman’s work can be viewed as a severely twisted negative of a nocturne.

Kohti puhdasta maata (“Towards the Pure Land”) is a selection of film photographs representing the brick installations of the Finnish conceptual artist J.O. Mallander. Mallander’s installations ask for the limits of signs, language and literature. The installation was first erected in 1983 in Meilahti, Helsinki.

And finally, lake project, a work by Ariel Fintushel and Robert Holliday, submerges its reader and/or listener into the depths of a lake. In Fintushel’s and Holliday’s work the lentic ecosystem dies, longs for intimacy and generates life.

After the echoes of the lake project have dissipated, Nokturno.fi retreats temporarily from the active publishing cycle. The question of funding a free, open access publication has proven to be a challenging one. We’re not closing down: your emails will still be answered, and we sincerely hope you keep your fine works coming. Nokturno will be back, but at this stage it’s impossible to say precisely when. Maybe in the fall, maybe sooner, maybe later.

At the same time, the professional challenges of literary research push yours truly back in to a recliner with a poetry book in his hands. In other words, someone else will be answering your emails from the June 1 onwards.  These seventeen months have offered a priviliged glimpse into the depths of digital literature. I sincerely wish to thank all of the writers and readers who have made – and still keep on making – Nokturno possible. Thanks also to Teemu, Elina, Virpi and the board of Nihil Interit – your contributions have been invaluable.

All the best,
Miikka Laihinen