Debashis Sinha

rig_veda000_03 (2020) is a sound work that contains content generated using machine learning algorithms on sound recordings and text to propose a speculative future expression of traditional (in this case, Hindu) knowledge systems. Neural networks were trained and fed field recordings collected by Sinha in India and an english translation of the Rig Veda (one of the 4 main Hindu scriptures). The resulting content was combined with other material such as sound effects, music, etc to create a story-like audio work that explores a sound world that points to the introspective impulse and the futility of fully understanding transcendental truths with human consciousness and language. 
This work is part of a larger cycle of exploration by Sinha using AI and machine learning to create a storytelling voice that is rooted in the future rather than the past, imagining a process of cultural transmission that incorporates ML and uses it as a collaborator in generating new ways of telling stories and creating sound worlds. Moving in this dramaturgical context is also a questioning of the power structures and assumptions that create and deploy these tools, using them in dialogue with cultural material to explore unexpected outcomes – e.g. the numinous impulse and traditional epistemologies to make works that extract their codes and bring them to a contemporary, living and liberatory context, applying imagination and embodying through sound a refusal to adhere to their implicit rules and structures.