6. In the spring of 1991, I began
an interactively created data structure that simulated an intimate
relationship between two people, by asking people to:
"Think about someone you might be in love with, are in love with
or are no longer in love with. Write a *short* sentence addressed to
that person. "
YOU! grew from 4 or 5 sentences in March 1991 to over 250 sentences in December 1991.
The final work contained sentences gathered online during REFLUX at the
Sao Paulo Biennial as well as sentences gathered by email; on USENET, and at
two events presented by Anna Couey: Cyber Encounters at New York
University and TAPE at Dominican College in San Rafael.
All the sentences received were fed into a computer program that made
judgments about the length and the content of the sentences and formatted
them into YOU!. Using a database of possible words, the program placed
short sentences that it "thought" were indicative of the first flowering of a
relationship at the beginning. It considered all long sentences to be indicative
of the fullcommunication that takes place in an established relationship and placed
them in the middle. Short sentences that, based on another database of possible words,
it thought indicated disintegration of the relationship were placed at the bottom of the
structure. Several sentences activated the program's "Jesse Helms
filter" and emerged somewhat differently from the way they were entered.
Artist on the Net
Read from an array of 3X5 cards,
this talk was given in March 1993
at the Conference on
Computers, Freedom and Privacy