Margarete Jahrman and Charlotta Ruth: Brain Dérive & Detournement. A neuro- philosophical situated GPT-2 writing game

With this game performance we aim to introduce a new form of technological writing in artistic research. We apply the technical settings of the actual Status Quo of Artificial intelligence in writing, generative neural network models. We use a certain “ludic method”, a concept developed within the Ludic Society project. We discuss pre-trained transformers as autoregressive writing styles, connect Deep Learning, automatic writing and choreography. As the departure for our proposed technological ‘détournement’ we use the contextual setting of a philosophy reading and explore how we can feel rather than understand the text. The concept of Dérive, deliberated from Debord´s notion and interpreted into Alice Becker-Hos playful interpretation, is approached through philosophy of technology, artistic research and neuroscience. What happens to the notion of activistic play when technology is choreographing, writing and analyzing our moves in the game?

Equipped with a brain-computer-interface we invite online audiences in a LIVE ONLINE writing session. Focusing on technology bias we approach reading as a performative act situating the philosophical content in practice and approaching audiences as an oracle-intelligence. In this way the setting, the game-mechanics and the audience activities acknowledge the session itself as a assemblage, subversively performing (doing), underlining and showing without telling what is at stake. Here we build on the artistic research project Neuromatic Game Arts/ art games: critical play with neurointerfaces ( At the end of the game loop a second new text is generated. The words and concepts of the attendees have been algorithmically fed into a Generative Pretrained Transformer in order to generate endless versions of it… into the loop! The artistic research question concerns the generation of ethical and political questions concerning the measurement of the self.


Margarete Jahrmann, is an artist, researcher and game designer. She is Univ.-Prof. in the artistic research PhD program of the University of Applied Arts Vienna and leads since 2020 the Austrian Science Fund FWF research project Neuromatic Game Art: Critical Play with Neurointerfaces. As professor Game Design at Zurich University of Arts she developed a focus on Game Art and Neuro-Epistemology. exhibitions: CIVA Contemporary Immersive Arts 2021, Parallel Vienna 2020, Amaze Playful media 2018.

Charlotta Ruth (S/A) plays with time and perception inside choreography, participatory art and arts based research. The last years her main topic of investigation has been performative aspects of communication, questioning forms of societal participation and what happens to “liveness” in our updated environment of interfaced reality. Ruth is approaching artistic research with a media independent but site and context-specific approach ranging between stage, gallery, public space, institutional in-between spaces and online.

Georg Luif (Technical Support) is a game developer and researcher who lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Completed studies in Digital Arts at the University Of Applied Arts Vienna and Interactive Media/Games at the University Of Southern California. Artistically researches the convergences of art, games and technology.