Mono No Aware is an endless generative free-roaming game, exploring synthetic recreations of the Romantic sublime through the lens of machinic interpretations of ‘nature’. It attempts to subvert the goal-oriented militaristic ideologies historically tied with the video-game medium, exploring games without an end goal, win or loss state. 


The work spawns from a research residency at Agorama investigating the relationship between folksonomy, metadata and machine learning algorithms using the search term ‘nature’. ‘Nature’ is described by Raymond Williams as “perhaps the most complex word in the language”.


By examining large content repositories, and, the enquiry developed as to how these classification systems problematise machine learning algorithms due to the reductive nature of language itself. How our misinterpretations and biases in definition attribution result in poor machine conceptions of the explicit data. 


The objects that populate the generative landscape are machine generated text-to-image processing of the metadata text found within the files in these repositories that are related to the search query ‘nature’, materialising our ‘natural landscape’ through a misinterpretive lens. 


NSA’s SKYNET utilises metadata and machine learning algorithms in the use of their drone strikes that have led to innocent deaths of people the machine has defined as ‘terrorists’ due to data misinterpretations. 



Mono No Aware


Interactive generative free-roaming game

A collaboration with Alexander MacKinnon