33 Questions per Minute

Relational Architecture 5

"33 Questions Per Minute" consists of a computer program which uses grammatical rules to combine words from a dictionary and generate 4.7 trillion unique, fortuitous questions. The automated questions are presented at a rate of 33 per minute—the threshold of legibility. The system will take over 271,000 years to ask all possible questions.

This piece is loosely based on the long tradition of automatic poetry; it is full of anti-content. It attempts to underline our incapability to respond, faced with an electronic landscape made up of demands for attention. The piece provides useless and slightly frustrating machine irony; tireless grammatical algorithms perform a romantic and futile attempt to pose questions that have never been asked.

The effect of the installation is destabilizing due to its speed. The rhythm of questions excludes any rational answer. 33 questions a minute is the threshold of legibility : there is no time for reflection.

The majority of the automatic questions are absurd: “Will you bleed in an orderly fashion?”, “Is the creator always being born?”, “Do I snip the marriage bed without rhyme or reason?” Sometimes, this surreal wordplay turns up poignant questions that do have meaning within the context in which they are exhibited: “Who bribes the artist?”, “Why did computers become so self-congratulatory?”

General info

Spanish name:
33 Preguntas por Minuto
French name:
33 questions par minute
Year of creation:
2000

LCD displays

Technique:
21 LCD displays, computer, communication interface, keyboard
Edition:
5 Editions, 1 AP
Collectors:
private collectors

Treatment

Power:
depending on the screen, should need around 250W on 110-240V
Dimensions:
should have a display larger than 6 x 3m
Edition:
1 Edition, 1 AP

Exhibitions


Credits

  • Concept and Direction: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
  • Programming: Conroy Badger and Guillaume Tremblay
  • Production Support (Spanish version): Will Bauer, Ana Parga, María Velarde Torres, Luis Jiménez-Carlés, Luis Parga and Gabriela Raventós
  • Production Support (English version): Rebecca MacSween
  • Production Support (German version): Stephan Klinger, Sakrowski and Till Braband
  • Production Support (French version): Elizabeth Marshman and François Letourneux

Bibliography