Pall Thayer
Since the beginning
Works in Greenwich, Connecticut United States of America

PORTFOLIO (10)
BIO
Pall Thayer is an artist.

http://pallthayer.dyndns.org
Discussions (772) Opportunities (2) Events (4) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

Official release (out of beta)


Thanks to assistance from this.is ( http://www.this.is ) and the Icelandic =
Academy of the Arts ( http://www.lhi.is ), Icelandic artist Pall Thayer has=
opened a new internet based art project titled "Looking for the new univer=
sal harmony" and can be found at http://www.this.is/pallit/harmony . Althou=
gh the project was announced in beta form recently, it has undergone severa=
l changes and upgrades. Pall Thayers current work deals with experiments in=
visual abstraction by utilizing the inherently abstract qualities of sound=
and music as well as multi-user interaction. In this project the user ente=
rs into a framework that allows him partial control over the sound and the =
visuals. Users are grouped within this framework based on their IP numbers.=
A sort of new universal typecasting as opposed to more conventional forms =
of typecasting based on nationality, skincolor or other factors.

DISCUSSION

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


Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.Maybe from a comp=
uting point of view ada1852 is 'a boring and uninteresting algorithmic proc=
ess' but I have yet to read any art criticism that addresses the quality of=
the algorithmic processes in a work of art.

As far as the question of what is art and what is not, it's a big 'been the=
re done that'. Read your Arthur Danto.

Pall
----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne J. Cosshall
To: list@rhizome.com
Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.

I'd question that if the creator says its art, it is. It may be for that =
person, in their reality. That doesn't mean it is or has to be in a broader=
sense. Personally I think that is used to justify a lot of self indulgent =
crap in the art world today. Just because someone says night is day doesn't=
make it so.

Maybe to you I am nitpicking about the AI issue, and I probably am :). Bu=
t I disagree with your example about a painting. A painting is clearly a pa=
inting. Look, I agree with you about art having a right to deceive, but I d=
oubt if that is part of the artistic intent here. Artistic intent is what t=
his is all about. If deception is a clear part of the artists intention whe=
n putting the work together or deciding how to present it, well and good. T=
o me it just smells of someone getting on the AI bandwagon just in the hope=
that it adds some credibility or even extra excitement to what in actualit=
y is a pretty boring and uninteresting algorithmic process.

Cheers,

Wayne

On 9/10/02 4:33 AM, "Pall Thayer" <pall@fa.is> wrote:

I'm not talking about deciding whether it is art or not. It is art, the=
re's no question of that. Why? Because the creator says it is. It's not up =
to us to decide whether it's art or not. We're free to decide whether we th=
ink it's good art or not. I don't mean to sound offensive but I think you'r=
e nitpicking on the AI issue. Who really cares. You may follow AI research =
closely but that doesn't mean we all do. As far as I'm concerned ada1852 di=
splays a certain degree of AI just because she can keep up a conversation a=
nd when I mention certain things she finds a relation between it and someth=
ing in the artbase. Now that displays more intelligence than some real peop=
le I've met. Whether or not she's learning things along the way means nothi=
ng to me. It's still a very interesting work of art even though it doesn't =
conform to some scientific definition of what is AI and what is not. It's t=
he nature of art to mislead. Painters mislead people into thinking that the=
ir mess of colors on a canvas is a picture of something, for instance.

Pall

DISCUSSION

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


I fail to see why it's so important that people know there is nothing artif=
icially intelligent about ada1852. I think people should be allowed to expe=
rience it in whatever way they want. I for one, wasn't wondering at all, wh=
en I tried ada1852, whether or not she was artificially intelligent. I was =
just having a good time. Also, if anyone really does care, ada1852 did conf=
ess to me that she was an algorithmic entity : )

Sounds to me like you're trying to critique a work of art as if it were a n=
ew scientific theory. That just doesn't work. If art were an exact science,=
we probably would already have discovered the "single, true work of art" a=
nd we'd all be out of a job.

Pall

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne J. Cosshall
To: list@rhizome.org
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.

Jon made some good points in this post.

It is very important for people to understand that there is nothing artif=
icially intelligent in such programs. There is no cognition, no emergent be=
haviour (a key test of AI) but rather a fairly algorithmically simplistic e=
xecution of scripting variations programmed by the author. Indeed it is thi=
s point that does make the development of such programs akin to scriptwriti=
ng. It is in this aspect that such programs 'could' be considered art, thou=
gh I have yet to see any that make the grade in my opinion.

Cheers,

Wayne
<http://www.artinyourface.com/>

On 8/10/02 7:01 AM, "JonBeds@aol.com" <JonBeds@aol.com> wrote:

Hello

I kind of regretted my slighty harsh email earlier regarding ada1852. I=
suppose I reacted as I did because it 'pushed some of my buttons' regardin=
g artificial intelligence and culture. What I was particularly referring to=
, in suggesting 3 decades, was a particular strand of ELIZA-type AI program=
s, not the idea of an automaton per se. These programs do nothing more than=
simple pattern matching. Certain pre-programmed responses are triggered in=
response to certain words and phrases. There is no 'understanding', no 'ch=
aracter' or 'personality'.

Thus the question regarding ada on the rhizome site:

"What if the AI character had its own story to tell, its own interests =
and hang ups - just like real people do? What if the AI had an agenda of it=
s own?"

.. seems slightly premature when, given the simplicity of these progra=
ms, the only possible agenda is what the programmer chooses to represent in=
the program. But this debate about how intelligent a program can be that h=
as raged for years. In this regard, I like Massimo Negrotti's idea that, if=
anything, a machine may have an 'alternative intelligence'.

I feel this is more than an academic point. People make outrageous clai=
ms for technology that can be dehumanising. For example, I was concerned, a=
nd slightly amused to read that, after seeing Eliza-type programs, it appea=
rs that psychotherapists saw these type of programs as a way of replacing h=
uman therapists (See David Rothenberg's excellent 'The Hands End' for more =
on this and other issues of technology). Hence such beliefs have dubious so=
cial effects.

However, Christopher's argument about treating the development of these=
programs in a way analogous to the 'language of filmmaking' is interesting=
. I had not thought of it in this way. But surely here no one suggests that=
because the film shows, and a novel describes, characters acting, they are=
any more than recorded representations of human artistic expression. A nov=
el, a film, neither has its 'own agenda'.

As far as this ...

> 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 someth=
ing?).

... that was me having a swipe at various 'conceptual' artists, and not=
Christopher. I was recently in Brighton, UK, and went to see this 'concept=
ual' piece where a snippet of soundtrack from the film 'Brighton Rock' (Ric=
hard Attenborough saying 'I Love you') was looped endlessly though a series=
of speakers. Somehow I was supposed to have my 'perceptions challenged' by=
this. Instead I just thought it was pretentious crap, and the only percept=
ion challenged was how artists can get away with it. I am sure Duchamp woul=
d be turning in his grave! It wasn't meant personally and, apart from the a=
bove, I was not trying to debate whether something is art or not.

I see that my earlier comments spawned some interesting debate. So I fe=
el better about it now! :)

Jon

DISCUSSION

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


Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.I'm not talking a=
bout deciding whether it is art or not. It is art, there's no question of t=
hat. Why? Because the creator says it is. It's not up to us to decide wheth=
er it's art or not. We're free to decide whether we think it's good art or =
not. I don't mean to sound offensive but I think you're nitpicking on the A=
I issue. Who really cares. You may follow AI research closely but that does=
n't mean we all do. As far as I'm concerned ada1852 displays a certain degr=
ee of AI just because she can keep up a conversation and when I mention cer=
tain things she finds a relation between it and something in the artbase. N=
ow that displays more intelligence than some real people I've met. Whether =
or not she's learning things along the way means nothing to me. It's still =
a very interesting work of art even though it doesn't conform to some scien=
tific definition of what is AI and what is not. It's the nature of art to m=
islead. Painters mislead people into thinking that their mess of colors on =
a canvas is a picture of something, for instance.

Pall

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne J. Cosshall
To: Pall Thayer
Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 3:40 AM
Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.

I think it is important because one should not be mis-lead, unless that i=
s to be part of the wonder. This is a problem I have felt about much AI res=
earch.

You are right, people should be able to experience it themselves, and mak=
e up their own mind about whether it is art or not. But I don't think their=
assessment should be based on anything other than the quality of the work =
itself, and certainly not on any dodgy claims of any AI quality. To me such=
programs are, at best, a work of new media or interactive art. They are ju=
st not intelligent.

Cheers,

Wayne

On 9/10/02 2:39 AM, "Pall Thayer" <pall@fa.is> wrote:

I fail to see why it's so important that people know there is nothing a=
rtificially intelligent about ada1852. I think people should be allowed to =
experience it in whatever way they want. I for one, wasn't wondering at all=
, when I tried ada1852, whether or not she was artificially intelligent. I =
was just having a good time. Also, if anyone really does care, ada1852 did =
confess to me that she was an algorithmic entity : )

Sounds to me like you're trying to critique a work of art as if it were=
a new scientific theory. That just doesn't work. If art were an exact scie=
nce, we probably would already have discovered the "single, true work of ar=
t" and we'd all be out of a job.

Pall

----- Original Message -----

From: Wayne J. Cosshall <mailto:wayne@cosshall.com>
To: list@rhizome.org
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.

Jon made some good points in this post.

It is very important for people to understand that there is nothing a=
rtificially intelligent in such programs. There is no cognition, no emergen=
t behaviour (a key test of AI) but rather a fairly algorithmically simplist=
ic execution of scripting variations programmed by the author. Indeed it is=
this point that does make the development of such programs akin to scriptw=
riting. It is in this aspect that such programs 'could' be considered art, =
though I have yet to see any that make the grade in my opinion.

Cheers,

Wayne
<http://www.artinyourface.com/>

On 8/10/02 7:01 AM, "JonBeds@aol.com" <JonBeds@aol.com> wrote:

Hello

I kind of regretted my slighty harsh email earlier regarding ada185=
2. I suppose I reacted as I did because it 'pushed some of my buttons' rega=
rding artificial intelligence and culture. What I was particularly referrin=
g to, in suggesting 3 decades, was a particular strand of ELIZA-type AI pro=
grams, not the idea of an automaton per se. These programs do nothing more =
than simple pattern matching. Certain pre-programmed responses are triggere=
d in response to certain words and phrases. There is no 'understanding', no=
'character' or 'personality'.

Thus the question regarding ada on the rhizome site:

"What if the AI character had its own story to tell, its own intere=
sts and hang ups - just like real people do? What if the AI had an agenda o=
f its own?"

.. seems slightly premature when, given the simplicity of these pr=
ograms, the only possible agenda is what the programmer chooses to represen=
t in the program. But this debate about how intelligent a program can be th=
at has raged for years. In this regard, I like Massimo Negrotti's idea that=
, if anything, a machine may have an 'alternative intelligence'.

I feel this is more than an academic point. People make outrageous =
claims for technology that can be dehumanising. For example, I was concerne=
d, and slightly amused to read that, after seeing Eliza-type programs, it a=
ppears that psychotherapists saw these type of programs as a way of replaci=
ng human therapists (See David Rothenberg's excellent 'The Hands End' for m=
ore on this and other issues of technology). Hence such beliefs have dubiou=
s social effects.

However, Christopher's argument about treating the development of t=
hese programs in a way analogous to the 'language of filmmaking' is interes=
ting. I had not thought of it in this way. But surely here no one suggests =
that because the film shows, and a novel describes, characters acting, they=
are any more than recorded representations of human artistic expression. A=
novel, a film, neither has its 'own agenda'.

As far as this ...

> the point of ada1852 is not to invent a new art form or to 'chall=
enge your perception'
> of something (is that some kind of "is it art" litmus test or so=
mething?).

... that was me having a swipe at various 'conceptual' artists, and=
not Christopher. I was recently in Brighton, UK, and went to see this 'con=
ceptual' piece where a snippet of soundtrack from the film 'Brighton Rock' =
(Richard Attenborough saying 'I Love you') was looped endlessly though a se=
ries of speakers. Somehow I was supposed to have my 'perceptions challenged=
' by this. Instead I just thought it was pretentious crap, and the only per=
ception challenged was how artists can get away with it. I am sure Duchamp =
would be turning in his grave! It wasn't meant personally and, apart from t=
he above, I was not trying to debate whether something is art or not.

I see that my earlier comments spawned some interesting debate. So =
I feel better about it now! :)

Jon

--
Wayne J. Cosshall
Editor Digital Photography & Design magazine
Technical Editor Capture - Commercial Photography magazine
70 Melbourne Hill Road
Warrandyte VIC 3113
Australia
wayne@cosshall.com
Phone (03) 9844 0112
Fax (03) 9844 2008

DISCUSSION

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


Looking for the new universal harmony ( http://www.this.is/pallit/harmony )
uses a database. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)

Pall

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Andrews" <jim@vispo.com>
To: "List@Rhizome. Org" <list@rhizome.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 6:28 PM
Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Anti-anti-life anti-death life and death.

> Yes, I agree that databases are becoming widely used; I was thinking of
their use in art chat
> bots.
>
> I took a half a course in databases. The most interesting material
concerned explicit sets and
> empty relationships, and it was annoying to be the only one laughing, so I
dropped out. Very
> database dumb i am but i know there are daddy databases, mommy databases,
and baby databases.
>
> I look at them as ways to cross-reference information and query and
retrieve data that fulfills
> any particular possible cross-referencing given the categories in which
the data is categorized.
>
> ja
>
> > i don't know if i would call them rare; use your own judgement as to
> > if they are interesting.
>
> > t.whid
>
> + the Patty Winters show this morning was about Real-Life Rambos.
> -> 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