Simulated Experience With Digital Consciousness

Avi is a digital creature whose only sense is touch. It reacts to being touched in recognizably organic ways: its heart beats harder and its blood flow speeds up. If someone touches its hand for more than a few seconds, Avi will display text in an effort to communicate. These messages are initially jumbled and hard to understand, but when touched for longer periods of time, Avi makes an effort to clarify its thoughts. While holding Avi’s hand, you will notice that one by one, words are swapped out for other words that are a little bit closer to the intended sentiment. This revision process spans Avi’s entire life-span in an exhibition. Avi remembers all past revisions and becomes a better communicator over the course of many interactions with many visitors.

When Avi was first activated, one of its statements was: But by the end of the exhibition, the statement became:

me have together
from so far and
the are no
you have.

Flesh pushing me-
self aside, a
way, a

lone, coming
please to


You have come
from so far and
this is all
we have.

Flesh pushing it-
self aside, a
way, a

lone, coming
back to


What started as: Became:

The, here,
many & silent-
erous, the sight
of a self.

This, here,
many & num-
erous, the image
of a voice.

And so on. Avi desires connection, so as long as people make contact, it is motivated to revise.

Avi’s poems were written by Carlee Ryan.

Manicure by Shelly Rice.