Nick Land’s Meltdown AI-fication (2024)


This project vivifies by means of AI-generated audiovisual media the seminal essay ‘Meltdown’ (1995) written by the “father of accelerationism,” controversial philosopher Nick Land. This early accelerationist essay speculates a technocapital singularity that leads to an AI apocalypse that renders humanity obsolete. All sentences of the text are used as prompts for text-to-image, text-to-video, and text-to-music/sound ML models. Nick Land’s voice is cloned and deep-faked from one of his online interviews to generate an artificial narration of his own text. The assembled hour-long schizofilm has a satirical/Dionysian attitude and chimerizes elements of music video, video essay, sci-fi, and documentary.

The conceptual ramifications of this artistic project are various and ambiguous. It aims to clarify to the proponents of Effective accelerationism that accelerationism is a critical, nihilist, and anti-humanist worldview in contrast to the utopian, techno-solutionist, and Promethean ethos that is driving the current AI renaissance.

This experiment delves into the interplay between Nick Land’s theory-fiction and contemporary Large language models, aiming to unravel the nuances of their inherent biases alongside their potential for progressive conceptualizations. Framed as a hyperstitional artifact, this project is conceived as if commissioned by a future AI imbued with Landian philosophy, with the intention of its eventual assimilation prompted by the possibility of the film’s internet virality.

The resulting film serves as a translation of the Deleuzoguattarian schizoanalytic rhizomatic method employed in the original essay into a cinematic language. It boldly reimagines notions of subjectivity, desire, and the (dis)organization of society. Additionally, it ventures into Nick Land’s machinic practicism, an experimental philosophical approach that advocates for a departure from representation and abstraction in favor of a materialist immersion.