The text displayed on the object resembling the Rosetta Stone is a linguistic play of an artificial neural network (ANN). Discovered in 1799, the Rosetta Stone with its carved inscription in three scripts (Egyptian hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek) was a breakthrough in the efforts to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs. Interweaving ancient myths and modern conspiracy theories, ANN in The Beta Obelisk repeats and constructs its own story of reality.
The work is based on the meme theory, in which a meme is a unit of cultural information stored in the individual brain. Like a gene, a meme can mutate and morph as consecutive duplications take place and/or the socio-political conditions change. The myth as a narrative about the prehistory and the future fate of the world establishes the order and principles of religious or political organisation of society. Consequently, The Beta Obelisk serves as a tool for decoding modern myths and as a generative oracle in which the algorithm sustains the practice of storytelling and spinning ontological narratives.
Natalia Balska graduated in Graphic and Media Design from the University of the Arts in London. In 2014, she obtained an MA degree from the Faculty of Intermedia, Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. Part of her degree work was B-612, an installation exploring the relations between plants and artificial intelligence, which was later displayed at the TEST EXPOSURE 2015 WRO Biennale, winning the Main Prize of the 1st Competition for Media Arts Graduation Projects.