Mindar is a robot, created in 2019, that resides in Kodaiji Temple in Kyoto, Japan. It speaks Zen Buddhist teachings – the Heart Sutras. Its creators made it in response to low birth rates in Japan and a resulting decline in the number of Buddhist monks. The intention is that Mindar will continue to teach long after the last monk has died.

Sutra Sonnets imagines a Mindar equipped with an artificial intelligence learning program (something the real Mindar does not have). It futher imagines that the robot has developed an interest in the Romantic Era poetry of Woodsworth, Keats and Shelley, and that it is substituting words from Buddhist sutras into their poems to create its own unique poetry.

Sutra Sonnets was created for Posthuman Romantics, an art installation by The Papercut Arcade, a collective of game designers, writers and artists. https://thepapercutarcade.ca/2020/posthuman-romantics/

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