Report 5923, 2023
Single-channel video

Report 5923  is an hour-long sci-fi film predominantly made using a wide array of different AI tools and methods. The film follows the protagonist, Shevek, on her journey between three different planets whilst compiling what seems to be an ethnographic report. Sound, sonic warfare and audio-as-virus are reoccurring themes throughout the story, which more broadly deals with notions of world-building and techno-optimism. The work attempts to deploy ideas we have come across in philosophical and theoretical works we love; particularly those of Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari.

It was first presented as a work-in-progress for FACT, a gallery and cinema in Liverpool, UK, who asked us to present work at the end of a two-day workshop in June ’23 dedicated to supporting artists, researchers and curators. The programme—titled ‘Turning Together’—took its name from speculative fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin’s understanding of the ‘mother-tongue’ as a way of communicating rooted in listening and relating to one another. After the screening—and owing to our extensive use of their tools both in Report and our wider practice we were lucky enough to quickly secure funding from Elevenlabs towards the film’s completion.

In response to FACT’s referencing of Le Guin, we had decided to fine-tune an OpenAI GPT-3.5 model on her novel The Dispossessed, with a view to co-writing a script with AI. Simultaneous to the development of the script was the story’s visualisation using AI tools (predominantly Midjourney and Runway’s Gen-2). One of the main obstacles we had was trying to combat what Shumon Basar has termed ‘the mid-ness of Midjourney’: a built-in inclination towards kitsch DeviantArt aesthetics found in a lot of text-to-content tools, which also often comes hand-in-hand with misogynistic and infantilising depictions of women. The first way we tackled this was by littering our prompts with technical photographic terminology so as to steer us away from heavily stylised imagery. One of the major impacts this had on Report was that it led us to change the main character, Shevek, from a young woman to an old woman. When prompted, Midjourney will often portray older women as objects of abject horror, which we felt was a much richer, subversive and complex aesthetic ground for our protagonist; no less supported by Le Guin’s claim in Space Crone that older women would be the ideal earthly representatives for intergalactic travel.


Y7 (Hannah Cobb & Declan Colquitt) are a duo of post-disciplinary artist-writers working out of Manchester, UK. They specialise in the use of artificial intelligence for audio-visual works alongside a written practice of cultural criticism that focuses on the emergence of new social trends contextualised through philosophy, media theory & political theory. They recently had a long-read article published in 032c based around the idea of a nascent era of audio culture termed ‘Post-Music’, as well as an article for Polyester Zine on Instagram architecture and the genocide in Gaza. Finally, they were commissioned by the Global Art Forum, Dubai in March 2024 to produce 6 x 1 minute videos on ‘speculative weather fictions’.