Jenna Sutela's nimiia ïzinibimi is a unique book based on an invented new language representing those who lack first-hand access to, or the ability to produce, “natural” language. The content of the book draws on nimiia cétiï, Sutela’s ongoing experiment in machine learning and interspecies communication.
It documents the interactions between a neural network; Martian language from the 1800s, originally channeled by the French medium Hélène Smith; and movements of Bacilli subtilis, extremophilic bacteria that, according to recent spaceflight experimentation, can survive on Mars. A video in the entrance hall of the library depicts both the organic and the synthetic materials in which the book originates.
nimiia cétiï began as part of n-dimensions, Google Arts & Culture’s artist-in-residence program at Somerset House Studios. Machine learning in collaboration with Memo Akten and Damien Henry, book layout by Manus Nijhoff, custom font by Helsinki Type Studio. The video includes music with Miako Klein on contrabass recorder and Shin-Joo Morgantini on flute, with sound production by Ville Haimala.
The work was realized as part of The Library’s Other Intelligences, an art project organized by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York through its MOBIUS Fellowship Program in collaboration with the Helsinki Public Library. The project was curated by MOBIUS Fellows Shannon Mattern and Parikka and featured newly commissioned artworks, original research and a series of events. On view at Central Library Oodi in Helsinki from January 11 to March 10, 2019.
Video documentation by Hannu Karjalainen
Supported by Kone Foundation