"AI" Images

  • Cassius ChatGPT posts have been serendipitous because I have also been experimenting with AI programs. The website DeepDream recently upgraded their application to allow for more flexible and spontaneous artistic productions, and I have been pleased with the results.

    First of all, DeepDream LOVES trying to render lengthy passages from De Rerum Natura:

    "Mother of Aeneas' people, delight of human beings and the gods, Venus, I power of life, it is you who beneath the sky's sliding stars inspirit the ship-bearing sea, inspirit the productive land. To you every kind of living creature owes its conception and first glimpse of the sun's light. You, goddess, at your coming hush the winds and scatter the clouds; for you the creative earth thrusts up fragrant flowers; for you the smooth stretches of the ocean smile, and the sky, tranquil now, is flooded with effulgent light." (DRN I:1-9)

    "First, when dawn strews new light across the earth, And the birds flying through the pathless woods In the soft air fill with their liquid notes, So varied and so sweet the place below, We see then plain and manifest to all How suddenly the rising sun is wont To clothe the world and flood it with his light." (DRN II:144-149)

    "Things which we see are sentient, we must now Acknowledge, have their origin in things Quite without sentience." (DRN II:863-865)

    "Be sure that, if the shapes were infinite in number, exotic robes of glistening purple from Meliboea, steeped in the dye of Thessalian mollusks, and the regiments of gilded peacocks, imbued with radiant loveliness, would be surpassed and obscured by things adorned with new colors; the aroma of myrrh and the taste of honey would be scorned; likewise the song of the swan and the subtle melodies from the strings of Phoebus' lyre would be smothered and silenced. Something would always emerge to excel all the others." (DRN II:500-509)

    "Since the first natal hour of the world, The day when earth and sea were born, and sun Had first its rising, atoms have been added In multitudes from outside, many seeds Added from out the might universe, Thrown all together by its ceaseless motion; That increase might be given to land and sea, The realms of sky extend their bounds, and lift Their loft building far above the earth; That air might rise." (DRN II:1105-1111)

    "Until to the utmost limit of their growth Nature at last has brought them, great perfectress, Great Mother and creatress of the world." (DRN II:1116-1117)

    "The terrors of the mind flee all away, The walls of heaven open, and through the void Immeasurable, the truth of things I see. The gods appear now and their quiet abodes [...].but always ever-cloudless air Enfolds and smiles on them with bounteous light." (DRN III:16-18, 22-23)

    "Look back now and consider how the bygone ages of eternity that elapsed before our birth were nothing to us. Here then is a mirror in which nature shows us the time to come after our death. Do you see anything fearful in it? Do you perceive anything grim? Does it not appear more peaceful than the deepest sleep." (DRN III:972-975)

    "The moment glassy water is set beneath a star-spangled sky, the serene shining constellations of the firmament are reflected in it. Do you not see now that an image falls instantaneously from the ethereal regions to the regions of the earth?" (DRN IV-211-213)

    "...the free-flowing fount of limpid light, the ethereal sun, ceaselessly inundates the sky with fresh radiance, instantly supplying new light to replace light." (DRN V:281-28

  • I've been experimenting with quite a few...

    "Since you and you alone stand at the helm of nature's ship, and since without your sanction nothing springs up into the shining shores of light, nothing blossoms into mature loveliness, it is you whom I desire to be my associate in writing this poem On the Nature of" Things, which I am attempting to compose for my friend Memmius: Through your will, goddess, he is always endowed outstandingly with all fine qualities. So with all the more justification, Venus, give my words charm that will ensure their immortality." (DRN I:21-29)

    "for it is inherent in the very nature of the gods that they should enjoy immortal life in perfect peace, far removed and separated from our world; free from all distress, free from peril, fully self-sufficient, independent of us, they are not influenced by worthy conduct nor touched by anger." (DRN I 44-49)

    "[F]or I will proceed to explain to you the working of the heaven above and the nature of the gods, and will unfold the primary elements of things from which nature creates, increases, and sustains all things, and into which she again resolves them when they perish. In expounding our philosophy I often call these elements ''matter' or 'generative particles of things' or 'seeds of things'; and, since they are the ultimate constituents of all things, another term I often use is '"ultimate particles." (DRN I:54-56)

    "When all could see that human life lay groveling ignominiously in the dust, crushed beneath the grinding weight of superstition, which from the celestial regions displayed its face, lowering over mortals with hideous scowl, the first who dared to lift mortal eyes to challenge it, the first who ventured to confront it boldly, was a Greek. This man neither the reputation of the gods nor thunderbolts nor heaven's menacing rumbles could daunt; rather all the more they roused the ardor of his courage and made him long to be the first to burst the bolts and bars of nature's gates. And so his mind's might and vigor prevailed, and on he marched far beyond the blazing battlements of the worlds in thought and understanding journeying all through the measureless universe; and from this expedition he returns to us in triumph with his spoils knowledge of what can arise and what cannot, and again by what law each thing has its scope restricted and its deeply implanted boundary stone. So now the situation is reversed: superstition is flung down and trampled underfoot; we are raised to heaven by victory." (DRN I:61-79)

    "And so no visible object ever suffers total destruction, since nature renews one thing from another, and docs not sanction the birth of any- thing unless she receives the compensation of another's death." (DRN I:262-264)

    "[T]his is what impels me now to penetrate by power of intellect the remote regions of the Pierian maids, hitherto untrodden by any foot. Joyfully I visit virgin springs and draw their water; joyfully I cull unfamiliar flowers, gathering for my head a chaplet of fame from spots whence the Muses have never before taken a garland for the brows of any person: first because I teach about important matters and endeavor to disentangle the mind from the strangling knots o f superstition, and also because on an obscure subject I compose such luminous verses, overspreading all with the charm of the Muses." (DRN I:924-935)

    “There can be no centre in infinity.” (DRN I:1070-1071)

    "[T]hose who follow their true nature never feel cheated of enjoyment when they lie in friendly company on velvety turf near a running brook beneath the branches of a tall tree, and provide their bodies with simple but agreeable refreshments." (DRN II:29-33)

    "But the factor that saves the mind itself from being governed in all its actions by an internal necessity, and from being constrained to submit passively to its domination, is the minute swerve of the atoms at unpredictable places and times." (DRN II:289-293)

    "So likewise all the various shells we see Painting the lap of earth, the curving shore Where waves beat softly on the thirsty sands." (DRN II)

  • And a few more Lucretian-inspired images from DeepDream's "AI":

    Once the door to spring is flung open and Favonius' fertilizing breeze, released from imprisonment, is active, first, goddess, the birds of the air, pierced to the heart with your powerful shafts, signal your entry. Next wild creatures and cattle bound over rich pastures and swim rushing rivers: so surely are they all captivated by your charm and eagerly follow your lead. Then you inject seductive love into the heart of every creature that lives in the seas and mountains and river torrents and bird-haunted thickets and verdant plains, implanting in it the passionate urge to reproduce its kind" (DRN I:10-13)

    "...you must imagine that the earth, in its depth as well as on its surface, is everywhere full of windy caverns, and that it holds in its bosom many lakes and many chasms, also cliffs and precipitous crags; and you must suppose that there are many rivers hidden under its crust, impetuously rolling submerged boulders beneath their waves. For plain fact demands that the earth should have the same character throughout." (DRN III:537-543)

    "It is in autumn, and also when flowery springtime unfolds, that thunderbolts most often convulse the whole pavilion of heaven, spangled with sparkling stars, and the entire earth too." (DRN, VI: 358-360)

    "Streams and springs called [early human beings] allay their thirst, just as nowadays torrents of water cascading down from mighty mountains with sonorous sound summon far and wide the thirsty troops of wild beasts. Moreover they occupied sylvan sanctuaries of the nymphs, familiar to them in their wanderings, from which they knew that sliding streams of water slipped to lave with lavish flow the rocks, the wet, wet rocks all green with moss and dripping with moisture; they knew too of places where welling springs gushed out over the open plain." (DRN V:945-953

    They've been helpful in articulating concepts from brief prompts:

    "Epicurus and Friends Plucking Grapes"

    "Pig Leaping Over Superstition"


    "'The Garden At Night'"

    "'The Men'"

    "Christians versus Epicureans"