Fixations (Tiny FanFic Generator)
What Is It?
This is a two volume set of star wars based fan fiction zines created with GPT-2, complied and printed on reciept paper. There are 8 fics per zine, all of them Kylux, so you've been warned.
The book Knots by R.D Laing which sometimes reads like a machine might have made it. Reading about Belief/Desire/Intent systems and loving the idea of a robot getting stuck in a recursive loop because its trying to constantly re-evaluate its options. Thinking about circular thought and how it can be reflective or hindering. My enjoyment reading about tsundere-esque relationship dynamics, and my enjoyment of star wars villians.
How Did You Make These?
Each tiny fanfic is created by hand picking one or two paragraphs of text from a much longer fanfic, then generating something from it using GPT-2 by experimenting with variables, and then taking some of the results and re-feeding them back through GPT-2 a few times to get the looping. Some fics are hand edited or cleaned up a bit for readability, others come back almost complete in structure, some I've mixed lines from a pool of generated content.
I then wrote a python program to layout, typeset, and print the zines on recipet paper and pair them with some images. After that, I used a vinyl cutter to make the envelope design. Each zine also has an apendix with contexual links for the pairing, credit to the source material, and explanations.
Why Did You Make These?
Sometime last spring I started experimenting with GPT-2 because the world became very interested in it. I was trying to find ways to kind of break it, or see what it was like when you played in the margins. So I started using it "incorrectly" on purpose by feeding it small text blocks (vs a large database), or wingdings, or just text garbage. It was interesting to see what it latched on to and tried to generate, or what it brought back when it broke down. I even started generating patterns with it.
I started using it for fan fiction because it was a way to use a model to bring back a reflection of what the source material felt like to me, rather than fine-tuning it to mimic the style. It was also a way to explore structure, but to still be hands on in the process, where both the model and myself contribute to the final product. Finally, before I started working with code, I was a print designer, and I also made zines growing up, so its been cathartic for me to come back to making something in print.