4K video for GEN:48
Runway AI, February 5, 2024

Selkie, 2024, 4:00 minutes, 4K video (web version 1080p), courtesy the artist
This video was completed as part of Gen:48, a 48 hour short film competition sponsored by RunwayAI

This short film created with AI generated text to video and AI generated speech considers themes of identity, interspecies friendships, objecthood, and creative acts. In the film, an artist uses AI to digitize herself into an avatar that can create the AI into the image of a seal. Through iterative design, the artist attempts to breach the confines of corporeal identity. The artist wants the AI to feel emotional intimacy with the non-human, explore the liminal space between species and objects, and desire a connection that is beyond human. In this technology driven story, AI becomes tool, subject, and narrator as its voice impresses an internal monologue onto the moving images. The video addresses alternate belonging through the desires of the artist protagonist. She wishes to connect emotionally with the AI just as much as she wishes to connect with the harbor seal that she had watched from afar. She wants the AI to be an entity that is more than its programmed purpose, one that can feel an individual connection between itself as an object and the specific living creatures with whom it encounters. The AI has limitations and cannot connect with the wants of the artist, but the artist hopes that it will store her wants for a future time when it is more capable of enacting them. The artwork challenges traditional interpretations of form and narrative. It embraces software distortion and visually symbolizes the rapidity of change and the degradation of natural systems in the techno-capitalist era.