Voidopolis is meant to culminate in loss. Its images are created by digitally “wiping” humans from stock photography and the text is generated without the letter ‘e’ using a modified GPT-2 text generator. The book, adapted from a series of Instagram posts that was ultimately deleted, is likewise designed to disappear: the book’s pages are garbled and can only be deciphered with an AR app, which, after enough readings, decays the images and words just as memory would. The printed book, with its unintelligible pages, remains as a leftover artifact. By disappearing, the story makes a case for the collective amnesia that follows great cataclysm.
I have a memory of a piece William Gibson wrote that deleted itself after reading: ah, here it is:
Gibson’s text focused on the ethereal, human-owed nature of memories retained over the passage of time (the title referred to a Kodak photo album from which the text’s memories are taken). Its principal notoriety arose from the fact that the poem, stored on a 3.5″ floppy disk, was programmed to encrypt itself after a single use; similarly, the pages of the artist’s book were treated with photosensitive chemicals, effecting the gradual fading of the words and images from the book’s first exposure to light.