Applying the lens of artificial intelligence and degenerative manipulation to the verse of P. Scott Cunningham’s Gray, this collaboration with Connie Bakshi decodes the language of the withheld to unravel the ties that bind. Drawing inspiration from early generation genetic sequencing protocols, the creation of the final work denatures, fragments, and replicates the ‘DNA strands’ of an AI-generated image — synthesized with select words of the poem — to reveal points of origin and termination. The process would reflect both the dynamic tensions and brute physicality beneath the surface of Gray, resulting in a piece that considers the legacy of biological bonds, the persistence of generational scars, and the choices that would cleave a departure from the past. Upon the last line of the poem, a question remains: where blood is thicker than water, when do the rules break from code?
P. Scott Cunningham x Connie Bakshi
my mother texts me some birds.
“What are these?” she asks beneath
the picture, which is blurry from
how, instead of walking closer
to the flock, she pinched the screen
with her fingers to bring my eyes
closer to their bodies, each one
in a different stage of lifting off
from the lake’s slate table.
“Whatever they were,” I say,