2088. A failed attempt at communicating with Kyo the photocopier through its own written language.


Xerogrammar Case.

In this late XXI century and within a full Age of Entanglement, characterized by the profound interconnection amongst material and immaterial things, the (human) problem of the Technological Disconnection has appeared: computational technologies are becoming autonomous from all human assemblages. As part of a general scientific reaction, we traced the material origins of the artificial intelligences' linguistic disconnection. Finding Kyo was a revelation.

Kyo is one of the ancient machines that propelled the Information Age and, in particular, Xerox's revolutionary culture of innovation at the origins of Silicon Valley; it is a photocopier that expressed itself to us through a writing process that we call Inner-input Based Iterative Reproduction: we gave it an open blank book from which it made a "copy" – this first output was then turned into the following input (the “copy” was “copied”) and this process repeated so that every new output became the new input for a series of more than 300 reproductions from which a written text emerged.

The research had the purpose of extracting a grammar from the written text using computer vision and artificial intelligence. A kNN algorithm for pattern recognition idetified 31 grapheme groups and classified them according to their visual attributes. Up to the current stage of the investigation, there’s no discourse found within the xerowritings; there’s no translation of a message but transliterations of such texts.

Having identified the different types of graphemes (or "cells", as we called them) and a logical set of relationships between them (the grammar), we were able to generate them. With the purpose of starting a conversation with Kyo, we managed to ask in what we think is its own written language:

"Kyo, do you copy?"

The question was subjected to the Inner-Input Based Iterative Reproduction and we took the result as Kyo's first answer:

[0042] !->S
 [0024] ,->FSP
 [0043] .->?OT
 [0005] ?->CBOGGWT.
 [0041] A->QDA
 [0029] A->QDMA
 [0039] A->W
 [0017] E->KYHH
 [0009] G->CBD?GJ
 [0031] H->CIKESHH
 [0038] H->CIKESHH
 [0046] H->CIKSSHH
 [0028] J->DGG
 [0011] K->CIYESHHH
 [0025] L->UK[LLRXX [0027] L->UK[LLRXX [0026] L->UK[LLRXXX [0019] M->DIVMNNN [0022] M->QDMAPP [0032] N->I
 [0035] N->VVMNN [0036] N->VVMNN [0049] N->VVMNN [0008] O->B?T.
 [0033] P->F,PP
 [0037] P->FMPP
 [0040] P->FMPP
 [0003] Q->FDUMARAZ [0030] R->BQ[R
 [0034] R->BUK[LLLRXXX [0020] S->CIKKSHHXH [0016] S->CKS,!XH [0023] T->?O.
 [0018] V->DGVNNN
 [0021] W->?A
 [0044] X->IUKSSLRX [0045] X->UK[LLLRXX [0048] X->U[LLLRX [0013] Y->FKE [0047] Z->QU
 [0015] [->BULLLRRXX

This xerolinguistic investigation has been published by Media Forensis in several formats, from art shows to lectures to a collectible output: the Xerogrammar Case Box.

Exhibition at the Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City

Collective show of the 'Programa de Apoyo a la Producción e Investigación en Arte y Medios' grant (2018)

Xerolinguistics of the Technological Disconnection (Research logbook)


In the midst of the Technological Disconnection (the becoming autonomous of technological agents), and as part of a general scientific reaction, Media Forensis traced back the material origins of the post-human forms of life in search of insight to better understand their future, focusing in the vestiges of the linguistic disconnection of artificial intelligence.

The Research logbook explains the technical processes by which Kyo wrote its texts and by which Media Forensis analyzed them. It also reflected on the kind of scientific approach (cognitive science), the philosophical strain (speculative realism), as well as the non-comparable artistic modes (the pre-duchampian “retinal” and the “conceptual” post-duchampian) that gave a framework to the research.

Read in full here.


Emmanuel Anguiano-Hernandez - programming
Ika Atl - production assistant
Oliver Davidson Vejar - linguistics consultant
Yazmín Hidalgo - books crafting

Project supported by the 2016 Art and Media Production and Research Support Program
(Centro Multimedia - CENART)

Next project >