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Ken Goldberg
United States, b. Nigeria, 1961

Artwork website: Ouija 2000

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Ouija 2000
1999
net.art
Purchase made possible through gifts from the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco
2000.33

The “ghost in the machine” appears when thousands of Internet viewers attempt to control the mysterious movements of a single planchette in Ouija 2000. In contrast to most network-control systems, in which a single user controls a single robot, in Ouija 2000 multiple users come together to collaboratively control a single industrial robot arm. This suggests the Central Limit Theorem, developed by de Moivre and Laplace in 1812. This statistical theorem describes how independent random variables can be combined to yield an estimate that becomes more accurate as the number of variables increases. Ouija 2000 comments on mysticism and technology by posing the question of telepistemology: What can we know at a distance?

Collaborators:
Rory Solomon: Java Design/Coding
Billy Chen: Java Design/Coding
Gordon Smith: Control Design
Jacob Heitler: Java Design
Steve Bui: Camera
Bob Farzin: Hardware Design
Derek Poon: Robot Interface
Gil Gershoni: Graphic Design
David Garvey: Illustration
Paulina Wallenberg Olsson: Flash Animator

Artist Bio:
Ken Goldberg is an artist, professor of engineering at UC Berkeley, co-founder of the Moxie Institute, and director of the Berkeley Center for New Media. Goldberg’s art installations have been exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, Venice Biennale, Pompidou Center, Walker Art Center, Ars Electronica, ZKM, ICC Biennale (Tokyo), Kwangju Biennale (Seoul), Artists Space, and The Kitchen in New York. Goldberg is Founding Director of Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium and has held visiting positions at San Francisco Art Institute, MIT Media Lab, and Pasadena Art Center. The Tribe, a short film he co-wrote, was selected for the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals. Ballet Mori, a multimedia project he developed to commemorate the 1906 Earthquake, was performed by the San Francisco Ballet at the San Francisco Opera House.

Artist website:
http://goldberg.berkeley.edu/