The Eternal Threshold

Video footage from our Berlin experiment

Oct 21, 2022

Dear friends,

The video that just landed in your emails is an outcome of a little experiment we did in a workshop in Berlin. I promised to post the footage, so my friends could revisit our creation.

If you’re interested in the machine learning models, their comparison with human cognition and some additional rambling around these topics, head over to my larger write-up here:

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Our workshop was opened with a three-card tarot reading from a Tarologist and a specialist in Egyptian symbology Katy Noura Butler. She’s developed an intricate, female-power-oriented system that overlays concepts from the Mystical Qabalah, Egyptian Pantheon and Tarot. Based on this reading the participants generated a stream of associations with each of the cards, which was then processed through a text-to-image video generation code.

I used a framework called Disco Diffusion to render the footage in this email. All you need to do is set a few animation parameters and script the scenes you want to get generated by the machine. Frame by frame, the initial image is modified by a diffuser algorithm shaped by the prompt given by the script.

A snippet of the free associations generated by the group for the card of High Priestess

The Triad for the reading was The Eternal Threshold, which consists of the three Egyptian deities Nephthys, Nut and Sekhmet. The corresponding tarot cards are:

Magician “the more powerful and high my magic the more transparent it becomes”

High Priestess “everything that I am I'm also not; I am becoming who I really am; the deeper I go into my shadow, the brighter I become”

Wheel of Fortune “everything that goes around comes around”

We’re planning to further develop the concept, and I have a plenty of new ideas for various magic applications of these new models. Stay tuned, I’ll share more details with you soon!