MIAO YINGTempus Fugit: Pompeii´s Paradox and Fading EmpiresA Graphic Novel by the Artist and AI
Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters
1 Jun 2022 – 31 Jul 2023
A new yearly programme, enabling artistic and curatorial research within Pompeii’s uniquely trans-temporal, multi-species and entangled context. The first and only framework of this kind set up in the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, the Digital Fellowships promote and foster plural engagement with, interpretation of and accessibility to the Pompeian heritage and its multiple histories through the technological episteme of our time. They also empower the transformability of matters, critically exploring what matters have become, or could become, in our digital time.
International participants are invited to carry out – both remotely and in situ – an expanded research over a period of several months, focusing on Pompeii or on aspects related to its symbology and meaning at large. Over the course of their Digital Fellowship period, participants identify and are granted access to archaeological resources, newly commissioned and archival documentation, scientific literature and other research material. They are offered the possibility to be in dialogue with Pompeii’s team of professionals and researchers, such as archaeologists, anthropologists, archaeozoologists, archaeobotanists, geologists, chemists, architects, conservators. The Digital Fellowships endorse and encourage open-ended and experimental methodologies, driven by innovative approaches. At the end of their research period, each participant share an outcome on the digital portal pompeiicommitment.org, thus marking the culmination of their fellowship.
“Tempus Fugit: Pompeii’s Paradox and Fading Empires” tells the story of Jack, a contemporary American tourist amazed by his first visit to Pompeii and tempted by the multitude of fragments and artefacts, unaware of the curse and time-travelling power these hide. The story was written by ChatGPT, after dialogues with the artist and consulting ancient and modern books, ranging from encyclopedias to time-travel literature. This piece underlines the collaborative approach of Ying—both with the more-than-human, and the experts that helped selecting the source material which was fed to the AI—an ethos which resonates with the broader Pompeii Commitment programme enquiry.