Animal, Vegetable, Mineral (Virtual)
2003
procedural cinema

video clip

The subjects of the conversations among these three floating, drifting heads, circle around several basic questions regarding humans and nature. And of course, because these are conversations between computer programs, they produce really only an appearance of meaning, and through this, a critique of our meta-discourse. Various questions are “examined” through direct conversational exchanges among the three heads. But beyond these discussions themselves lies another level of inquiry, one about how it is possible to create conversations (or participate in them) in which meaning is not what drives the exchanges forward, but simply words themselves. The characters do not really have any notion of meaning, but only are provoked by words and phrases; yet they manage to carry on endlessly varied conversations. –kf 2003

transcript of a conversation:
Animal: The universe is full of minerals Ė thereís no danger for minerals.
Mineral: We are inside of you.
Vegetable: We fear minerals very much, but we need them to grow.
Mineral: We are the beginning and the end of everything.
V: Do minerals ever need light?
A: Minerals are so hard. Minerals donít care about us at all.
M: We are the basic material of everything.
A: Is struggling for survival a kind of violence, or not?
V: Animals are so violent, all of them.
M: Animals make war.
A: We are the only ones who really think, so we have the right to do whatever we please.
V: Thatís a strange idea. Who can be alone?
M: Animals are made of elements and minerals, right?
V: Animals are the most violent of all Ė everything you do hurts us.
A: We are the ones with technology to make things better.
M: You have no technology beyond smoke and mirrors.
V: Human technology is very wasteful, but cows and beavers are just as bad, for example.
A; Are we the only ones to feel disappointment?
M: All of the small particles work together Ė there are more of us than anything
A; Are we the only ones who think about the future?
M: We donít think about mind.
A: Hah hah hah, what a laugh!
V: Do animals love vegetables?
A: We are the ones who can reflect on things and make them change.
M: Can reflect on kings and make them change? Donít ask me!
V: When one thing kills another so that it can survive, isnít that violence?

exhibition history:
Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, Shropshire, UK, March- April 2003
Postmasters Gallery, New York, June 10 - July 30 2003
European Media Art Festival, Osnabrueck, April 21 - May 23, 2004

commissioned for 'BitParts' by FACT [The Foundation for Art & Creative Technology], Liverpool and funded by West Midlands Arts (UK)

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