Machines as Literary Companions

This article examines Constant’s many literary collaborations with machinic agents.

Working with machines as literary companions in the network of Constant also includes studying the machine, the dataset, and the process. This means that the literary quality of these works is dependent on how much the machine is taken seriously as a literary companion. In other words, the circumstances are created for this companion to narrate “its” point of view in the most critical way possible, rather than using the tool to create digital stories. The creation of spaces for exchange, collective experimenting, and sharing – in, for example, Constant’s worksessions or the Algolit meetings – allows for a kind of versioning effect in the resulting works.

This article is written by An Mertens and is the fifth of six that MARCH invited Constant to publish in the context of the journal’s first long term inquiry Publishing As Protocol.