The bA(I)bylon project was created by Lilia Chak in 2022.
This web application based on the work of artificial intelligence interprets the biblical story of the Tower of Babel from the standpoint of postmodern philosophy.
Today, philosophers talk about the need to achieve pluralism in society, respect for minorities and point out the value of difference. The artist visualizes all these problems of modern society in her work and offers her own individual solution.
The Tower of Babel is the subject of a biblical tradition described in Genesis 11:1–9. According to this legend, after the Flood, humanity was represented by one people who spoke the same language. Then people decided to build a city, which they called Babylon and a tower to heaven, in order to "make a name for themselves." The construction of the tower was interrupted by God, who made people speak in different languages. After that, they ceased to understand each other, could not continue the construction of the tower and scattered throughout the earth.
Thus, the story of the Tower of Babel explains the appearance of various languages after the Flood, and the tower itself becomes a symbol of separation.
Lilia Chak places the action of building the Tower of Babel in the modern computer age.
Through her web-application, the artist invites all peoples of the earth to take part in the construction of the virtual Tower of Babel.
Each person can say a few phrases into the microphone in their own language. The program recognizes what language a person speaks and “builds” a gate in the wall of the tower.
Each gate is an architectural symbol of the respective nation or language spoken by that nation, for a total of 109 languages that Google allows. The gates are always open, they invite cooperation and talk together. The construction of the tower takes place against the backdrop of the biblical Negev desert of modern Israel - as a symbol of the continuity of eras. “Scrolling” all the floors of the tower, the audience will see how many people (nations) took part in the “construction”, they will hear the sound of various languages and see their original spelling.
Thus, the construction of a “virtual”, ghostly tower will not play the role of separation, as in ancient history, but of the unification of all peoples and an active attempt to reconcile and integrate them.