The Only Lasting Truth is Change: Hallucinating, Computing, Collapsing

Bergen 16.11.2023 19.11.2023


What do we learn about the world, while we are learning to live with AI? For the 2023 edition of the symposium “The Only Lasting Truth is Change”, BEK employs the notions of hallucinating, computing and collapsing as entry points for the inquiry.  

With contributions from: Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, N. Katherine Hayles, Jennifer Gabrys, Haig Aivazian, Jenna Sutela, Damien Roach, patten, Ibiye Camp, Ramon Amaro, Tung-Hui Hu, Suzanne Kite, Bahar Noorizadeh, Nora Al-Badri, Lesia Vasylchenko, Magnhild Øen Nordahl and Critical Craft Collective, with others to be announced.

The symposium will take place in Bergen, Norway on 16-19 November 2023, with satellite workshops and reading sessions throughout the Fall.

We take as our starting point the multiple readings of “hallucination” – from terminology of a glitch within large language models to a mutual miscomprehension between Indigenous and Western epistemologies. We will look for the various intersections between the artificial and the real – between large scale statistics and local knowledge. Can complex communities and more-than-human entities become datasets? How do forests perform computational functions? We will examine how data can be decolonized, algorithmic systems overthrown, and how to push back standardising forces. Scrutinizing power asymmetries and biases inherent in AI, and the extractivist nature and environmental impacts behind it, we want to learn – whose hallucination are we living within? See the detailed symposium programme here.

The symposium “The Only Lasting Truth is Change” borrows its title from the seminal science fiction writer Octavia Butler’s novel, Parable of the Sower (1993). This edition is organised by BEK with support from Norsk kulturråd, Fritt Ord, City of Bergen, KORO, Bergesenstiftelsen and in cooperation with Ekko, Østre, Bergen Assembly, Tenthaus and the County Governor of Vestland. It is part of New Perspectives for Action – a project by Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the European Union. Graphic design by Vera Gomes.