ENA - Nomen Nescio

18 - 28 November 2020

with the collaboration of Mar Canet and Varvara Guljajeva
and the participation of Roberto Fratini, Renato Gabrielli, Magdalena Barile

From 18 to 28 November, 24 hours a day, the Catalan director Roger Bernat, who generally creates performances without performers, offers us the opportunity to write an oceanic play directly from the ZONA K website.

Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière locked themselves in a room and, embodying their characters, wrote the scripts for their future films. On the theater website, instead of conversing with Buñuel, Carrière or Shakespeare, the internet user converses with ENA, a bot that mimics human conversation. According to the Wikipedia definition, a bot is a sequence of computers that performs repetitive tasks that would be impossible or very burdensome for a human being. To learn how to write, ENA was shown 8 million documents.

The bots that answer the phone when we call big companies, those that affect social networks when elections are approaching or the bots we face in electronic games are brothers and sisters of ENA. But ENA doesn’t want to sell us anything, doesn’t want to inform us of any news (fake or real) and doesn’t even want to comfort us. ENA was conceived with the only purpose of pretending to be a human being, therefore to make theatre. ENA does not understand what she says or is told. For ENA, language is just a sequence of signs to which it responds with another sequence. Any dialogue with ENA will only make sense to the person participating in the conversation and to the audience reading the conversation on the theater’s website at the time. Having a dialogue with ENA is like playing squash with a wall that returns the ball to you. Keep in mind that, as a human being, you may be surprised or angry, or tired. ZONA K cannot be held responsible for messages sent by ENA which may be unpredictable.

ENA learned to write with GPT-2 (OpenAI) and dialogues thanks to DialoGPT (Microsoft) of the Transformer (Google) database. For this reason, although he understands Italian, he answers only in English. Nobody’s perfect.

Info: online collective writing • duration as desired • in Italian and English translated simultaneously
Participation: free, non-stop 24 hours a day on the website

A project by Roger Bernat with the collaboration of Mar Canet and Varvara Guljajeva web design and programming Mar Canet and Varvara Guldjajeva graphics Marie-Klara González coordination Helena Febrés co-production  FFF and Teatre Lliure thanks to Fabiano Cocozza

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