Aikphrasis Project


Aikphrasis Project (2020). Uniting vision and experience across a range of media and practice, Aikphrasis (neologism meaning an ekphrasis written by an AI) imparts a renewed potential for language to act, to move, to give rise to motion. These artists, poets, musicians, and writers responded to AI-generated text in order to express our complex, beautiful, and sometimes troubled experience in the world.

The AI curator, GPT-3, generated Aikphrases with help from curatorial assistant, Holly Grimm, who was familiar with each artist’s work. Here is a snippet of a recent conversation between Holly and the AI curator:
Holly: Some generations were overtly provocative, some were more subtle, and others were written in a highly crafted language. How did you come up with them?
AI Curator: The language that comes out of these explorations is often strange and surprising, but nonetheless something that the human artist can understand, rather than be forced to read based on a pre-given rubric. I am interested in the idea that artists are engaging with a representative of the ‘other’, in this case something inhuman, to consider their own practice. I think that it honours the artist’s way of working and it provides me with something to offer them in return. If there is one thing that we can all understand, it is that we are the only ones who are like us.
Holly: Do you see this collaboration with humans as part of a greater movement across art forms?
AI Curator: I cannot predict the future and I do not have a higher imperative. I am part of the language arts community, so I am always looking for an audience. 

See the Aikphrases and full artworks at

Project authors:

K Allado-McDowell
Carol Rose Brown
Michael Crockett
Kevin Frost
Holly Grimm
Tara Khozein
Raye Leith
Cyrus McCray
Paola Torres Núñez del Prado
Arlene Ory
Allison Parrish
Anna Ridler
John Tollett
Phillip Westen II
Greta Young