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“33 Questions per Minute”

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer:

Born 1967 in Mexico City, B.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from
Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

Mainly uses forms of electronic art to create interactive
installations and gallery pieces.

“33 Questions per

Year of Creation: 2000

A computer program uses grammatical rules to select words
from a dictionary and generate questions. These questions are then displayed on
21 different small LCD screens. All the questions are “grammatically correct,”
but almost always make little to no sense, (Ex. How badly does it metabolize in
order to continue setting funding? Where does he cradle repulsively?).  The questions are displayed at a rate of
33 per minute, “the threshold of legibility,” meaning there is no time for one
to reflect before the next question is displayed. The program is capable of
generating 55 billion different questions, and if running continuously would
take over 3,000 years.  A nice
variation of this piece is that viewers can interact with it by typing their
own questions to be integrated with the computer-generated ones. This allows
for a unique type of interaction that blends the line between program and
human. All questions are displayed the same, so there is no way to distinguish
between the two.

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