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MIDI Archive

MIDI Archive is an exploratory prototype of a generative AI model presented alongside a bespoke archive of MIDI music on the early web, which forms the corpus the model is trained on.

screenshot of MIDI Archive website
Screen capture of MIDI Archive

Archives seem to have come into a kind of fashion as of late. In an age of planetary-scale existential precarity, they seem to offer solace in feeling knowable, certain, and grounding. The training procedures of AI foundation models like GPT have a close relationship with archives too, but instead rely on their accessibility, volume, and givenness, which allows archives to be composed and instrumentalized as training sets. I developed this project during my residency at Recurse Center in the fall of 2023 as an exploration of the opposing, and yet mutually reinforcing dynamics between building an archive and building a machine learning model.

Music generated from this model was also published by the People’s Coalition of Tandy as part of a catalogue of works celebrating General MIDI.

Read more about this project here.

See also