STAR VALLEY (SIRIUS) uses two spark-gap transmitters controlled by a natural language processing AI algorithm trained on the US Department of Defense and NATO nicknames and descriptions of programs, activities, exercises and special access programs. The work consists of a Neural Network generating nicknames and corresponding descriptions and is in part inspired by the 1975 Joint Chiefs of Staff Code Word, Nickname, and Exercise Terms System (NICKA), which automates such assignments. The work reflects on the present state of encoding, decoding, secrecy and transparency by transmitting these neural network imagined nicknames in morse code through a very wide band spark-gap apparatus. The earliest form of wireless transmission is paired with contemporary computational developments to open a window on the landscape of the accountability of secrecy.
Marko Peljhan and Matthew Biederman have been collaborating since 2002. They first met during a residency period on Markolab while it was situated in Blair Atholl, Scotland. Since then they have performed, produced installations, and founded the Arctic Perspective Initiative, dedicated to fusing traditional knowledges with new technologies towards greater autonomy of the circumpolar regions. Among others, their projects have been featured at festivals such as Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Moscow, Montreal and Lyon Biennales. Marko Peljhan is a theatre and radio director, conceptual artist and researcher. Matthew Biederman works across media and milieus, architectures and systems, communities and continents since 1990.