If a machine could write dramas, what would they be? This is the idea that London-based artist collective Villa Design Group explores with The Tragedy Machine, their waggish, new exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Spawned from a sci-fi worthy premise, the exhibition-meets-theatrical production springs out of the group’s reaction to their stridently academic venue. “Mass production has always been an interest of ours especially the mechanization of work and what that might mean to art production,” Villa Design Group member William Joys tells The Creators Project. “MIT provides such a strong math and science context, so we decided to take it on instead of ignoring it. Because we have a lot of interest in producing theater, we wondered, quite earnestly in the beggining, if it would be possible to create a machine that could write tragedies. We were thinking we could collaborate with some sort of artificial intelligence department.” The collective was told their dream was still an impossibility—leaving writers everywhere relieved.
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