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

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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

Second Guessing


I can't watch television media without trying to figure out who is
manipulating it, no matter how maddening the process is.

The younger, greener journalists and pundits who were on the air from
the first minute of the attack were careful not to specifically say that
Saddam was the target of the early attacks, though they obviously
suspected it. Military insiders were hardly much different, only they
appeared to imply that instead of _journalistic ethics_ they a
_patriotic duty_ that prevented them from acknowledging that Saddam was
the target.

The news analysts noted, immediately following Saddam's speech, that he
could have made the tape prior to the beginning of the bombing --
implying that he also could have caused it to be released after the
hostilities began, whether he was alive or dead. Later, after some time
for reflection (and better broadcast recordings and better translation),
the more senior, seasoned news analysts came on and eventually noted,
with a Sherlock Holmes-like bravado, that in his speech Saddam had
mentioned the *specific time* of the intial attack. So, in fact, he
might be alive.

But he still might be dead: Even MSNBC, allowing wishful thinking to
trump journalistic ethics, said "A man who appears to be Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein". Did I just hear that Al Jazeera had a gap in the
broadcast, where the signal dropped to static? Maybe that's how Saddam's
people made the tapes. Maybe there was no gap in the broadcast, maybe
Saddam's video editor team inserted the gap in the tape to hide an edit.
Maybe Saddam was using video trickery. Did he make dozens of recordings
of himself saying various times of the day ("today at 4:00am", "today at
4:15am", "today at 4:30am", etc - I don't speak Arabic, how specific was
he about the time anyway?). This would be about a hundred different
little recordings. He could have done this in an hour or so.

He could be dead -- and the "evidence" that he was alive, uncovered by
clever western journalists and military media analysts, could be an
elaborate posthumous hoax. Or he could be a Saddam look-alike. Or, I
suppose, he could still be alive.

-Cf

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

DISCUSSION

Artbase: Joe Zane


> http://rhizome.org/object.rhiz?15163
> http://rhizome.org/object.rhiz?15164
> http://rhizome.org/object.rhiz?15165
> http://rhizome.org/object.rhiz?15166
> http://rhizome.org/object.rhiz?15167

Five artbase works in under 20 minutes, congratulations! :-)

I don't mean to be petty here - I took a look at them and I kinda like
Joe Zane's works - but they really do not seem appropriate for the
rhizome artbase. Is the artbase now accepting "linked art objects" that
are simply web-based documentation of sculptures and installations? Yes,
he may use digital technologies in the actual works, but they are not
net-based or net-accessible any more than the Mona Lisa is.

I am attracted to the idea of the artbase being very inclusive, but I
also see the value in some curation. This is not necessarily about the
quality of the work -- it's about the *nature* of the work. Rhizome has
a particular mission (net-based art) and somebody has to make sure that
works in the artbase at least fit that description.

-Cf

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

DISCUSSION

Re: No "NO WAR"


Eryk wrote:
> I don't know that anyone consciously "wants" war
> besides a few 15 year old kids who watch the news
> after playing "First Strike" for a few hours.

It's not just 15-year olds who live in a fantasy world in which war is
cool and other countries aren't real. I would guess that 25% of all
Americans would be in favor of *any* war no matter what for and no
matter against whom. Double that number if the 'enemy' is in a country
whose name is hard to pronounce. We are so very bored and war is fun,
right?

Keep in mind all those crazy statistics about how 25% of adult Americans
cannot find Europe on a world map, 20% think Germany was an American
ally in WWII, etc. A large number of people who voted for Bush II
thought he was Bush I. You can forgive such folks for thinking that a
war will be, like, so much cooler than the coolest reality-tv show.

From CNN.com:
http://LessLink.com/cnn_geography/
87 percent cannot find Iraq
83 percent cannot find Afghanistan
76 percent cannot find Saudi Arabia
70 percent cannot find New Jersey
49 percent cannot find New York
11 percent cannot find the United States

Oh, here's the actual survey (test yourself!)
http://LessLink.com/geosurvey/
(I am not closely related to the John Fahey at this site)

-Cf

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

DISCUSSION

"outsider" ebay art


People are using ebay to express themselves. They're not selling
concepts like "blackness" or "good karma", they're selling real stuff.
But they're using the ebay pages to do a little extra...

Is this not an art project?
http://LessLink.com/instant_pet/

Is this not an art project?
http://LessLink.com/chips_grow_on_trees/

-Cf

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

DISCUSSION

Re: Video Game as Political Propaganda


> The Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah has realeased a video
> game called Special Force. The game
> appears to be explicitly designed in line with Hezbollah's
> stated objective of the destruction of Israel. Has there
> every been a video game released that is tied into a specific
> political goal?

Any game which simulates real-world events is inherently political. A
typical example of this is "Sim City", where your city's success is
dependent on certain sociopolitical assumptions that are, in the real
world, still subject to a lot of debate.

War simulations are no less political. The more representational (of
real-world nations and events) the simulation is, the more political it
is. The "Special Force" game seems especially political because the
protagonist (and the game designers) are "the bad guys", but games made
by "the good guys" are political, too. There are countless games where
the goal is to defeat The Soviet Union, the Nazis, etc.

There's a *huge* number of games where the goal is to defeat
Hezbollah-like groups, as the "Special Force" creators are quick to
note:
http://www.specialforce.net/english/begin/start.htm

To muddy the "good guy/bad guy" waters a little bit, there was a popular
game a few years ago in which you played a Russian soldier and the
enemies were Chechen terrorists. Or Chechen freedom fighters.

In the art/game area, John Klima's "Serbian Skylight" and "The Great
Game" used video game motifs to explore the politics of war.

I used to be a nationally-ranked online Quake player, but when it comes
to playing war simulation games in which I am fighting my way through a
poor village on our own planet Earth, fighting other human beings, using
real-world weapons (as opposed to plasma rifles), the politics of the
simulation usually becomes too much for me.

-Cf

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