‘Pharmako-AI’ Book Launch: K Allado-McDowell, Nora N. Khan and Emily Segal

‘Pharmako-AI’ Book Launch: K Allado-McDowell, Nora N. Khan and Emily Segal

On 16 November 2020, Ignota, K Allado-McDowell, Nora N. Khan and Emily Segal celebrated the launch of Pharmako-AI by K Allado-McDowell, the first book to be co-created with the emergent AI GPT-3. Emily Segal gave an astrology reading for the book, followed by a conversation with K and Nora N. Khan and music by Qenric, K’s musical project.

Pharmako-AI is a hallucinatory journey into selfhood, ecology and intelligence via cyberpunk, ancestry and biosemiotics. Through a writing process akin to musical improvisation, Allado-McDowell and GPT-3 together offer a fractal poetics of AI and a glimpse into the future of literature. Pharmako-AI reimagines cybernetics for a world facing multiple crises, with profound implications for how we see ourselves, nature and technology in the 21st century. 

K Allado-McDowell is a writer, speaker, and consultant to cultural, artistic, and technological institutions that seek to align their work with larger traditions of human understanding. Allado-McDowell established the Artists + Machine Intelligence program at Google AI. They are the co-editor, with Ben Vickers, of the Atlas of Anomalous AI. Allado-McDowell records and releases music under the name Qenric. 

Nora N. Khan is a writer of criticism. She is on the faculty of Rhode Island School of Design, Digital + Media, teaching critical theory, artistic research, writing for artists and designers and technological criticism. She has two short books: Seeing, Naming, Knowing (The Brooklyn Rail, 2019), on machine vision, and with Steven Warwick, Fear Indexing the X-Files (Primary Information, 2017), on fan forums and conspiracy theories online. Forthcoming this year is The Artificial and the Real, through Art Metropole. She is currently an editor of The Forces of Art: Perspectives from a Changing World (Valiz) along with Carin Kuoni, Serubiri Moses, and Jordi Baltà Portolés, and was a longtime editor at Rhizome. She publishes in Art in America, Flash Art, Mousse, 4Columns, Brooklyn Rail, Rhizome, California Sunday, Spike Art, The Village Voice and Glass Bead.

Emily Segal is an artist, writer, and strategist. Currently, she is the co-founder of Nemesis Global, a think tank for cultural research based in Berlin and Los Angeles, as well as the co-founder of Deluge Books. Previous to Nemesis, she was a founder of the collective and trend forecasting group K- HOLE (2011–16). As a strategist, Emily has worked on projects for Comme des Garcons, Prada, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Serpentine, Louis Vuitton, and many others. Emily’s essays and interviews have appeared in publications including Texte zur Kunst, Die Welt, e-flux journal, 032c, and Flash Art International, where she was the magazine’s Editor-at-Large from 2015–17. She was a visiting critic at the Yale School of Art from 2012–15, an assistant adjunct professor at Columbia GSAPP in 2015, and a visiting Professor of Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie 2017–18.


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