February 19, 2008

Experience at the Walker

It has been quite a while since I have visited the Walker Art Center. The last time I believe I was seven. Obviously the place has changed significantly since then. Still, even if some the art changes, the general theme remains. The museum still exhibits varying forms of post modern art. I wandered around the exhibits for a brief time. I glanced at varying pieces, including a mould of a smashed car. Everything visible had been replicated in a mould including the fabric seats. The artist cast the mould so well that expect for close examination it merely appears he painted every part of the car the same color. But I spent most of my time at the “Dolphin Oracle II.? This was an interactive exhibit where a computer generated dolphin received input from a view via a keyboard and used rather advanced A.I. to respond the best it could. The viewer could ask anything from simple math questions to abstract thoughts to elicit a response from the A.I. It even presented a personality when it answered question. If the viewer kept asking too many mathematical questions it responded by becoming impatient and saying, “What do I look like a calculator. I bet you know the answer already.? One of the things I did was to attempt to break down its logic and confuse it. I partially succeeded when I brought up the issue of free will. Eventually it became trapped after it claimed to have free will but its creators programmed it to answer questions.