Return Lipsum Corpus

2018

In “Return Lipsum Corpus,” all but the introduction, conclusion, and pages 35, 36, 37, and 38 of a 1914 first edition of Cicero’s “De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum,” or “On the Ends of Good and Evil,” have been removed, replaced, and rebound. A long metal chain bookmarks page 36 of the book, a page beginning with the words “lorem ipsum.” Today, a scrambled version of the paragraphs that follow is ubiquitously utilised in word processors to autofill a page with loops of nonsensical placeholder text — a curious de-contextualisation of philosophically earnest material (an English translation on the righthand side of the spread, page 36, reveals that it is actually an Epicurean meditation on the ethics of pleasure and pain). On the replacement pages, the artist has used machine learning to print new meditations on pleasure and pain from an artificial "hive mind” (subjectively-curated and contradictory, drawing from sources ranging from philosophical creeds to romance novels, scientific writing to poetry) in an attempt at extending — repeating and looping through, anew — this threshold between meaning-making and gibberish. 

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