Great Wall of China (1996)

The Great Wall of China uses the metaphor of the wall as a navigation device. The work (in shockwave) juxtaposes Chinese characters, images and select passages of a Franz Kafka text to create a randomly generated story. With every interaction different passages are highlighted creating new meanings through these juxtapositions. The experience is different on subsequent viewings of the work.

Full Description

The Great Wall of China is a project conceived for simultaneous realisation across media, including a Website, a CD-ROM, a book and an interactive installation.

The foundation of The Great Wall of China is a real-time interactive language machine. This uses the metaphor of the actual Great Wall of China as a navigational device. The system is capable of creating an endless stream of ever evolving and changing texts.

Experimental works that were part of the development of this project can be viewed.

The inspiration for this project began with the short story of the same name by Franz Kafka. The database for the work consists only of individual words, all of which come from the original Kafka story. There are no linguistic structures stored in the system beyond the individual words. All sentences and grammar structures are formed "on the fly" through object oriented procedural techniques.

The main technical approach used in this work is based on pattern recognition and Chomskian FormalGrammars.

This strategy has been employed as it was the artist's desire to avoid having any form of "story-telling" model in the system.

http://www.walkerart.org/gallery9/beyondinterface/biggs_artist.html Beyond Interface : Simon Biggs

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Artist Statement

The Great Wall of China is a new project conceived for simultaneous realisation across media, including a Website, a CD-ROM, a book and an interactive installation.

The foundation of The Great Wall of China is a real-time interactive language machine. This uses the metaphor of the actual Great Wall of China as a navigational device. The system is capable of creating an endless stream of ever evolving and changing texts.

Experimental works that were part of the development of this project can be viewed.

The inspiration for this project began with the short story of the same name by Franz Kafka. The database for the work consists only of individual words, all of which come from the original Kafka story. There are no linguistic structures stored in the system beyond the individual words. All sentences and grammar structures are formed "on the fly" through object oriented procedural techniques.

The main technical approach used in this work is based on pattern recognition and Chomskian FormalGrammars.

This strategy has been employed as it was the artist's desire to avoid having any form of "story-telling" model in the system.

http://www.walkerart.org/gallery9/beyondinterface/biggs_artist.html Beyond Interface : Simon Biggs

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