Ross Goodwin's series NOW, THEREFORE, I is an exploration in photography and AI collaborative text. "Now, Therefore, I" is how the legally functional component of every American Presidential Proclamation begins. America’s first President, George Washington, issued the country’s first Proclamations, beginning a tradition that continues to the present day. Proclamations remain one of the few unilateral Presidential powers in America, meaning they do not require any Congressional or Judicial approval, despite technically carrying the weight of the law. As a result of their unusual nature, Presidential Proclamations are typically used for ceremonial purposes alone. More specifically, they are used mostly for recognizing days, weeks, and months dedicated to various American observances and holidays. However, notable historical exceptions, such as the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln, create a legal precedent for the use of Proclamations as an exceptional power of the American Presidency.
This artwork represents an interrogation of Ross Goodwin’s own memories from serving as the lead ghostwriter for Presidential Proclamations at the Obama White House, 2009-2010. For this NFT series, Goodwin captured a high-resolution digital photograph of Pacific ocean waves lapping up to an actual physical copy of a Presidential Proclamation (“Wright Brothers Day, 2009”), digitally erased the document, then created four NFTs (editions of five each), each with its own fictional Proclamation text. To create these fictional Proclamations, Goodwin trained bespoke text-generating AI on a corpus of actual Presidential Proclamations he wrote or worked on while serving his country at The White House.
NOW, THEREFORE, I suggests alternate histories as well as speculative futures by contrasting the historically significant with the generatively fictionalized facets of the artist’s own life and work. Moreover, this artwork remains a meditation on the role of the individual amidst a systemically critical environment, as the very nature of political fact in America unravels, and the country Goodwin served inches ever closer to the edge of an unknown landscape: the unknowable future.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
NOW, THEREFORE, I by Ross Goodwin is part of the exhibition RECOLLECTION. AI AND MEMORY presented by EXPANDED.ART in collaboration with The NFT Gallery at their galleries in New York and London, 11 April – 13 May 2023.
19 artists explore the idea of further challenging the concreteness of human memory—personal or collective—through creative collaboration with AI. Memories are nebulous.
Scientific studies and phenomena such as "The Mandela Effect" have shown that humans rarely recall things in their unbiased exactitude. Artificial Intelligence already assists human memory in the form of predictive text and GPS navigation. One would surmise that there exists a role for AI when it comes to supplementing even more complex memory.
Artists: Crashblossom, Ilya Bliznets, Anna Dart, Olga Fedorova, Ross Goodwin, Danielle King, Margaret Murphy, Kika Nicolela, Roope Rainisto, Daria Rastunina, Manuel Rossner, Travis LeRoy Southworth, Anne Spalter, Nathaniel Stern, Sasha Stiles, Stephan Vasement, Nicola Villa, Sabato Visconti, and Erika Weitz.
ABOUT THE NFT
Contract address: KT1J3LMZ8f15oDEKbBZhLXH8Hy3KLCLWcezT
Metadata: Frozen and decentralized