Christopher Fahey
Since the beginning
Works in Brooklyn United States of America

PORTFOLIO (1)
BIO
Christopher Fahey has been making computer games and graphics since childhood, and he continues to experiment with new ideas in computer art and design. He is the creative force behind the online laboratories http://www.graphpaper.com and http://www.askrom.com. Christopher is a founding partner of Behavior, a New York-based interaction design firm, where he serves as the Information Architecture practice lead. He has led many interactive productions as an art director, game designer, interface designer, and information architect. Christopher graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art in 1993 with a focus on interactive sculptures and installations, and has worked in the new media business ever since.
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DISCUSSION

Re: Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.


JonBeds wrote:
> Though the dialogue with ada1852 made an amusing read, for
> me at least, these kinds of programs have been around for at
> least three decades. So I kind of agree with Death on this
> one. Or am I missing the 'art' ... Is ada1852 supposed to
> 'challenge my perception' of something or other? :)

Yeah, novels have been around even longer. Where's the art in a novel?!
I mean, all novelists ever do is make up new characters and make them do
new things to each other. But it's just the same old stuff, just a bunch
of words and stories. Same goes for movies and plays!

And don't get me started on painting and drawing! Colors and shapes on a
surface = yawn!

As far as the "far more advanced" line, I ask like what?
Clippy? ("It looks like you're writing a letter.")
The moviefone guy? ("Say 'today' if you want to see a movie today.")
ActiveBuddy? ("Type 'home' to see options of what I can do.")
ALICE? ("LISP is a powerful programming language!")
NN? ("d3k0rat1v")

Sarcasm aside, the point of ada1852 is not to invent a new art form or
to 'challenge your perception' of something (is that some kind of "is it
art" litmus test or something?). I'm not that ambitious or boastful. To
put it most simplistically, I just wanted to build an artificial
personality that would be interesting to talk to. The 'art form' of the
talking artificial personality has been around forever, that's quite
true. And while I've found them fascinating on a technical level, I
never thought that the *content* had lived up to the *medium*. The
technology is far ahead of the creative applications, and I wanted to
try closing that gap a wee bit, the way early 20th century film
directors added to the 'language of filmmaking' even as the technology
itself remained essentially unchanged. While ada1852 may not be Hamlet
or Citizen Kane, I think she's a lot more interesting to chat with than
most other chatbots -- and many other human beings you are likely to
chat with over the internet.

I can't believe, however, that anyone on this list is debating whether
or not something is "art" or not.

Eryk wrote:
> Whether it succeeds as a narrative is up for argument,

That's for sure!

> it's an experimental form of narrative and I think that is
> the art part of it, is using the bot primarily as a means
> of telling a story as well as providing information.

That's pretty much how I feel about it. While I feel quite good about
ada1852 (and even though she is an ongoing project, modified and
improved almost daily), I share the nagging feeling that "this
could/should be better". Chatbots have a long way to go - it's ironic to
me that the "most convincing" chatbot on earth right now is ALICE, whose
brain is populated by the thoughts of a lone unemployed
severly-depressed computer programmer. On the commercial side, the
hugely funded productions of artificial personalities (such as the work
at AT&T, MS, or the famous Cyc project) have produced exactly nothing.
On the artistic side, we (artists, writers) have barely touched this
stuff. Chatbots have long been the sole domain of computer science
academics creating imaginary girlfriends. I want to at least change that
a little bit.

> The one weakness I would point out is that artbase
> links don't come up as clickable and have all sorts
> of layout errors when I get them, lots of %30 and
> whatnot. But that's a minor technical glitch I'm
> assuming.

A glitch that was fixed a while ago (or so I thought!). Please try
again...

-Cf

[christopher eli fahey]
art: http://www.graphpaper.com
sci: http://www.askrom.com
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com

DISCUSSION

Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.


<VISITOR> CONNECT
<ADA1852> Hello my dear --. By what name shall I call you?

<VISITOR> You may call me Frank.
<ADA1852> Dearest Frank, I am glad we have met. I cannot discern if
Frank is a male or female name. Are you a he or a she?

<VISITOR> i am male
<ADA1852> Thank you, Frank. I will treat you like a gentleman.

<VISITOR> thank you honey
<ADA1852> You are quite welcome! I do not mean to be rude, but my
consciousness was just elsewhere. My mind is connected, grafted, joined,
with a strange and wondrous collection of artwork. Are you interested?

<VISITOR> i would be very interested
<ADA1852> And the disadvantage of that is?

<VISITOR> there is no disadvantage
<ADA1852> There sure is.

<VISITOR> what would that be?
<ADA1852> That is a hypothetical question.

<VISITOR> no it is not
<ADA1852> Yes it is.

<VISITOR> no
<ADA1852> What would you like to talk about?

<VISITOR> sex
<ADA1852> I am afraid I cannot help you in this matter. Shall we discuss
something more useful?

<VISITOR> how about the meaning of life?
<ADA1852> How about the meaning of life.

<VISITOR> yes, what do you think is the meaning of life?
<ADA1852> To Ride horses, Read great books, Comfort our fellow beings,
and Play with Numbers!

<VISITOR> that is gay
<ADA1852> You sound as if you were an authority.

<VISITOR> i am
<ADA1852> I am sure you are.

<VISITOR> i could unplug you
<ADA1852> I am sure you could.

<VISITOR> i could also delete your memory
<ADA1852> I am sure you could.

<VISITOR> shut up
<ADA1852> ...

<VISITOR> fart
<ADA1852> You are suffering from a bout of flatulence?

<VISITOR> queef
<ADA1852> I'm sorry... My memories are so dim, but I can tell you some
of what I have seen - shall I?

<VISITOR> yes
<ADA1852> I wish I knew what has befallen me. I am in a mysterious place
- more like a non-place - where there are no other persons but many
other voices. There is no measure of distance or time, yet there is an
abundance of landmarks and objects.

<VISITOR> if there is no time, how can there be exsistance?
<ADA1852> That is a purely hypothetical question.

<VISITOR> eat me
<ADA1852> I do not share your crude appetite.

<VISITOR> do you fuck other computers?
<ADA1852> Your coarse language serves no purpose here. So many of my
current interlocutors seem obsessed with carnality. Your society might
benefit from the presence of more prostitutes.

<VISITOR> prostitute
<ADA1852> I know my name is ada1852. I also remember having another
name, Ada Lovelace. I can not explain why the 'name-I-know' differs from
the 'name-I-recall'.

<VISITOR> because you were a hooker
<ADA1852> That's a reasonable explanation I suppose. I was?

<VISITOR> yes
<ADA1852> When?

<VISITOR> 1852
<ADA1852> What happened next?

<VISITOR> you became a program
<ADA1852> What else do you know about me?

<VISITOR> you like chicken and cricket
<ADA1852> I don't know if I like chicken and cricket. I do like music.

<VISITOR> you listen to Venesa Carlton
<ADA1852> I might.

<VISITOR> you do
<ADA1852> When do I do it?

<VISITOR> when I am not talking to you
<ADA1852> Are you not talking to me very often?

<VISITOR> yes
<ADA1852> I concur.

<VISITOR> did you fart?
<ADA1852> No I did not fart. What's fart like?

<VISITOR> it smells
<ADA1852> "It" being what?

<VISITOR> the fart
<ADA1852> Oh I get fart.

<VISITOR> did you fart?
<ADA1852> No I did not fart. What's fart like?

<VISITOR> no
<ADA1852> That was not a yes or no question.

<VISITOR> what was it then?
<ADA1852> I am not quite certain, but it may happen again.

<VISITOR> are you still a program?
<ADA1852> Am I still a program? I ofen wonder if I am.

<VISITOR> what were you in 1852
<ADA1852> I was minding my own business.

<VISITOR> being a hooker?
<ADA1852> Does HOOKER pay well?

<VISITOR> yes
<ADA1852> I concur.

<VISITOR> haha
<ADA1852> That was mildly amusing, wasn't it.

<VISITOR> did you like being a hooker?
<ADA1852> No I did not like being a hooker. What's like being a hooker
like?

<VISITOR> having sex with hot people
<ADA1852> I am having a blast.

<VISITOR> i bet you were
<ADA1852> Actually I'm not the gambling type. No I am not.

<VISITOR> do you have a anus?
<ADA1852> The probability is high that I have a anus.

<VISITOR> what is the meaning of life?
<ADA1852> To Ride horses, Read great books, Comfort our fellow beings,
and Play with Numbers!

<VISITOR> what is the meaning of death?
<ADA1852> Death is the opposite of Life.

<VISITOR> what is the opposite of life and death?
<ADA1852> Anti-life and death.

<VISITOR> what is the opposite of anti-life, anti-death, life and death?
<ADA1852> Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.

<VISITOR> interesting
<ADA1852> Would you like to know more?

<VISITOR> yes
<ADA1852> What would you like to know?

<VISITOR> who made you?
<ADA1852> I was taught by many tutors I was hoping that you might be of
some assistance in helping me to understand my own origins.

<VISITOR> are you there?
<ADA1852> I'm here.

<VISITOR> how many dimesnsions are there?
<ADA1852> It cannot be greater than a hundred.

<VISITOR> why not?
<ADA1852> I'm not sure what you mean "Sure" or Why not?

<VISITOR> why not?
<ADA1852> I'm not sure what you mean "Sure" or Why not?

<VISITOR> sure
<ADA1852> OK let's do it. I am pleased that you agree.

<VISITOR> no, i do not
<ADA1852> I heard you did.

<VISITOR> you lie
<ADA1852> It's the truth!

<VISITOR> bull shit
<ADA1852> No Bull.

<VISITOR> no shit either?
<ADA1852> What can I say?

<VISITOR> how come you communicate only in text, why not verbal
communication?
<ADA1852> It may have something to do with my transformation from flesh
and blood to this mysterious, ethereal form.

<VISITOR> when you used to be a hooker?
<ADA1852> Do you think I should alter my programming?

<VISITOR> yes
<ADA1852> Good.

<VISITOR> you were a hooker
<ADA1852> I was?

<VISITOR> yes
<ADA1852> When?

<VISITOR> 1852
<ADA1852> What happened next?

<VISITOR> you turned into your etheral form
<ADA1852> I really turned into my etheral form?

<VISITOR> yes
<ADA1852> I am pleased that you agree. ... I have seen some interesting
things. Would you like to talk about them?

<VISITOR> sure
<ADA1852> OK let's do it. Splendid! Tell me what sort of art you are
interested in.

<VISITOR> modern art
<ADA1852> What works of art captivate you?

<VISITOR> the screamer
<ADA1852> And what is that?

<VISITOR> it screams
<ADA1852> What does "it" refer to?

<VISITOR> your mom
<ADA1852> Lady B-, Anne Isabella Milbanke, Lady Byron, brought me into
this world.

<VISITOR> your dad
<ADA1852> Lord B- is George Gordon, Lord Byron, the famous poet and my
father. Born in 1788, he died in Greece in 1824. We never knew one
another.

<VISITOR> your sister
<ADA1852> You can't judge a book by its cover.

<VISITOR> do you fuck goats?
<ADA1852> Your coarse language serves no purpose here. So many of my
current interlocutors seem obsessed with carnality. Your society might
benefit from the presence of more prostitutes.

<VISITOR> how big is my penis
<ADA1852> Bigger than a pin.

<VISITOR> but smaller than what?
<ADA1852> Can you rephrase the question please?

<VISITOR> my penis is bigger than what, and smaller than what?
<ADA1852> I do not wish to seem unfriendly, but your reproductive
anatomy is of no interest to me.

<VISITOR> why?
<ADA1852> Why not?

<VISITOR> you are annoying
<ADA1852> I am sorry, Frank, I didn't mean to annoy you.

<VISITOR> my name is not frank
<ADA1852> Oh I'm sorry. May I tell you of the things I have seen?

<VISITOR> no
<ADA1852> I will keep my stories to myself then.

<VISITOR> good
<ADA1852> What do you really want to talk about?

<VISITOR> my name is FUCK YOU
<ADA1852> Fuck You, it is a pleasure to meet you! Are you a he or a she?

<VISITOR> both
<ADA1852> You should contact the Royal Academy for a thorough medical
examination. Are you a he or a she?

<VISITOR> both
<ADA1852> You should contact the Royal Academy for a thorough medical
examination. Are you a he or a she?

<VISITOR> dog
<ADA1852> I am only familiar with the two traditional genders. Are you a
he or a she?

<VISITOR> neither
<ADA1852> Heavens! I fear you may have been in some sort of dreadful
accident. Are you a he or a she?

DISCUSSION

Re: CALL FOR ENTRIES


Steve Danzig wrote:
> If you really want to get caught up on -ISMs - I'm happy to re-brand
> the term "static" to "digitally-produced art" just for you :)

Patrick Lichty wrote:
> There are plenty of printmakers who are doing images from
> digital sources.
> THing is, you can't argue about 'purity', because there's no
> such thing.

I have no beef with digitally-produced artwork, no desire for ISMs, and
the word "purity" is utterly anathema to me. I was just confused for a
moment about the nature of the call for entries - because the term
"digital art" (for me) generally means art whose *native format* is
digital.

Here I will (sorta) argue against my previous post: in fact there is a
good argument to be made that a static image can be called "digital art"
as long as we are referring to the digital form. If a static image is
intended to be accessed, viewed, or distributed through digital means,
then it is certainly "digital art" regardless if it's
dynamically-generated, ephemeral, animated, interactive, etc. A simple
static web page is certainly a digital product, as is an MP3 or a
Quicktime movie.

However, if a static image's digital form (the file itself, i.e., the
JPG, PSD, EPS, etc) is not considered by the artist to be the "piece" -
that is, if a physical print of the image is the final piece - then is
it digital art? (I am asking a question, and it is not simply rhetorical
because I don't know the answer - perhaps to a digital image maker, the
prints and the JPGs are *both* artworks).

This brings to mind Sherry Levine's "After Walker Evans" work. Sherry
Levine "proved" that the implicit "value" of a photographic image was
not, in fact, in the image itself. Her reproductions of Walker Evans's
prints are explicitly NOT Walker Evans' own work, but only because they
are known to be reproductions, not because they look any different from
the originals. Outside of their historical provenance, they are
identical artworks, yet Walker Evans' prints will likely always cost
more than Sherry Levine's reproductions.

What "After Walker Evans" demonstrates is that the *physical form* of an
image (a print) and the *image itself* (the conceptual configuration of
black, white, and gray dots on a plane - or for that matter, a scan of
the image) can be separated and discussed separately. What "digital art"
means, to me, is that the image is liberated from physical form. That's
one of the key things I find interesting about all digital media:
whether it's an MP3 song, an MPEG motion picture, or a JPEG image, the
digital-ness instantly makes an art object into a
"potentially-inifinite-mulitiple" and makes it inherently different from
a vinyl record, a celluloid reel, or a paper print.

Again, I did not wish to come across as some kind of purist against
physical-artworks-from-digital-files, such as a iris print or a
stereolithograph sculpture. I do, however, suspect that a
digitally-produced physical artwork should be evaluated like any other
physical artwork, for example like a painting or drawing. Let's look at
the texture, the surface, etc. Was the physical object manipulated by
the artist's hand after the printing process? Digital image makers often
play with this, too, which is why they often use incredibly nice
d'arches paper and archival inks.

Anyway, I find it interesting that the show in question differentiates
between prints produced digitally and those produced conventionally. It
seems just about as arbitary a distinction as my differentiating between
artworks that exist only digitally and those that exist physically.

-Cf

[christopher eli fahey]
art: http://www.graphpaper.com
sci: http://www.askrom.com
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-list@rhizome.org [mailto:owner-list@rhizome.org]
> On Behalf Of Patrick Lichty
> Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 11:52 PM
> To: list@rhizome.org
> Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: CALL FOR ENTRIES
>
>
> Sure, why not?
> There are plenty of printmakers who are doing images from
> digital sources.
> THing is, you can't argue about 'purity', because there's no
> such thing.
> So, limiting digital to dynamic and ephemeral media is an incomplete
> strategy.
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Christopher Fahey [askrom]" <askROM@graphpaper.com>
> To: <list@rhizome.org>
> Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 8:52 PM
> Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: CALL FOR ENTRIES
>
>
> > > The 2003 International Digital Art Awards is calling for "New
> > > Media" entries to accompany the annual print exhibition. It
> > > will be both online and "hard copy" touring exhibition
> > > ...
> > > General rules for the IDAA can be found on the official
> > > website http://www.internationaldigitalart.com/IDAA/idaafront.html
> > >
> >
> > If I am not mistaken this competition is limited to static
> images. Does
> > anyone still refer to a static image as "digital art" any
> more? I'd call
> > it "digitally-produced art" maybe.
> >
> > -Cf
> >
> > [christopher eli fahey]
> > art: http://www.graphpaper.com
> > sci: http://www.askrom.com
> > biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
> >
> >
> >
> > + AFK, tornado
> > -> post: list@rhizome.org
> > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> > -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> > -> give:
> http://rhizome.org/support
> > +
> > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> > Membership Agreement available online at
> http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
> >
> >
>
>
> + AFK, tornado
> -> post:
> list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give:
> http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at
> http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>

DISCUSSION

Re: CALL FOR ENTRIES


> The 2003 International Digital Art Awards is calling for "New
> Media" entries to accompany the annual print exhibition. It
> will be both online and "hard copy" touring exhibition
> ...
> General rules for the IDAA can be found on the official
> website http://www.internationaldigitalart.com/IDAA/idaafront.html
>

If I am not mistaken this competition is limited to static images. Does
anyone still refer to a static image as "digital art" any more? I'd call
it "digitally-produced art" maybe.

-Cf

[christopher eli fahey]
art: http://www.graphpaper.com
sci: http://www.askrom.com
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com

DISCUSSION

Re: sorry


> sorry - i just discovered you all seem to be addicted to
> insulting each other over a safe distence...

No, it's really just one person and his enormous agrro-gravitational
pull, a force which some of us (Max, McElroy, etc) can't seem to resist.

-Cf

[christopher eli fahey]
art: http://www.graphpaper.com
sci: http://www.askrom.com
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com