The work currently in production is composed as a recursive digital game played across three levels with the possibility of looping. The narrative follows a disillusioned matador who feels duped by his biology and the manufactured performance of the bullfight. Longing for jouissance and an ecstatic return to animality and difference the character chases 'deep play' in the form of the true conquest of the bull of heaven. The player progresses from matador, to bull and eventually to god in the form of a swarm of flies, 'waiting to inherit the earth again.' through which the game tracks a dissolvement of the self. As a context for the game, both landscape and character are actually an imaginary of an AI, which has been trained on texts including the Epic of Gilgamesh, (the origin story of the bullfight and the first written epic poem) and whose textual outputs have been used as a rule-based architecture for the building of the world, which appears as a kind of stitched together collective space. These samples will also dictate the evolving landscape of the character, the narrative of which will attempt to parody the hero convention in epic storytelling, and is designed on the principle of algorithmic recursivity, whereby the only way to win (to achieve deep play) is to die. The game centrally acts as a parable for deep play as a form of deep learning, self-determining emergent intelligencce of human intellect which is sought after in the technological development of AI. The malaise of the central character is borne out of an unending quest for unattainable ecstasy, a characteristic of deep play. Prior to releasing the game, this page will operate as a record for the process of its production. 
The proximity of so much dying tends to demand a certain honesty from observers... And if it does so happen that a human being finds death in the corrida's rarefied afternoon, if a torero, or perhaps one of his cuadrilla, is fatally wounded, then the corrida is intended to redefine the moment of death... Even the almost always inevitable death of the bull, is meant to be controlled within the corrida's physical language, the structure and the sad necessities of its world. 
 
On Bullfighting, A. L. Kennedy 
Deep play is defined as a game in which the stakes are so high, that the potential losses far outweigh the potential gains in winning, and so it is conceived as irrational to play at all. 
Relief of Gilgamesh and Enkidu killing the Bull of Heaven while Ishtar attempts to prevent them. 800BC - 700BC. 
Cult Relief of Mithras Slaying the Bull (Tauroctony), ca. A.D. 170-71, Limestone.  
'After bruising afternoons spent facing an inn's resident toro, after dangerous, thrilling nights spent in ganaderia fields learning to handle a cape when it counts, learning the physical language of the bulls, a deep sympathy for the reactions and instincts of another species, Belmonte began to understand his own nature. His belief in his own identity as a matador was woundingly intense, as was his frustration with a corrida 'so hide-bound, so rigidly and exhaustively hemmed in by canons of immemorial antiquity' that he despaired of ever realising his true self.' 
 
A.L. Kennedy, On Bullfighting 
Juan Belmonte, Killer of Bulls 
ARENAS, RECURSIONS, ECHOES, CYCLES 
A painting speculating on the image of a god, Cueva de Serrata, Cieza, Spain, 2019. The significance of this drawing embodies our capacity as sentient beings to imagine, to project, to tell stories. 
Left and below: tracing the River Segura from a hydroelectric dam in Blanca to the Cueva de Serrata (the cave containing the featured cave paintings) outside Cieza. August 2019. Below: the same route, but from the backseat of a car. 
Image : sketches on forms of recursion from Recursivity and Contingency (2019), Yuk Hui. 
Source: e-flux, Cybernetics for the Twenty-first Century; An Inteview with Philosopher Yuk Hui, by Geert Lovink  
 
L E V E L O N E 
Besides the animals, there were also gods: 
there were gods who came of youth, 
and who served as hosts to wail at the watering place. 
Tell me, how is it that you came to this place? 
Was it not you who provoked the Bull of Heaven, 
and who entered the Waters of Death? Why are we so disturbed? 
Did you not notice me when I entered the Waters of Death? 
Did you not look back at me when I entered the Waters of Death? 
Did you not look back at me at the watering place when the animals were drinking 
around it? 
 
 
 
 
Excerpt from the training checkpoints of the AI reading Epic of Gilgamesh 
https://rebeccagill.info  
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