[ISEA96] Artist Statement: Greg Garvey – Genderbender

Artist Statement

The attract mode of GENDERBENDER displays the following: “Are you really a man or a woman or a little bit of both? “Etes-vous un homme ou une femme ou un peu les deux? “Now you can be sure (or can you?)!” “Maintenant, vous en tes certain!(l’tes-vous?)” Although on the internet no one may know you are a dog GENDERBENDER performs a much needed public service by minimizing the cognitive dissonance of gender confusion and subterfuge found in chat groups, MUDS, and MOOS. Inspired by standard psychological tests for gender and personality profiles and Alan Turing’s test for Artificial Intelligence. GENDERBENDER allows a user to self administer a gender test. Based on the user’s responses the “Computer Psychologist” will display the message, “You are a man!” or “You are a woman!” or “You are androgynous!” The “two player” version allows two users to view the responses of one another. Each in turn can guess the gender of the other player and whomever the computer psychologist agrees with is the winner(?)!. CUseeme teleconferencing makes it possible for the users to compare a video simulacrum with the assessment of the Computer Psychologist. At the start of both the single player and two-player version the Computer Psychologist will display the first of a series of questions randomly selected from a possible total of sixty. The Morph-o-meter displays KENBY an androgynous ‘virtual’ figurine. As a user answers each question with yes, no or don’t know the Morph-o-meter gives instant feedback on whether masculine or feminine characteristics predominate in the user’s personality by morphing towards a indentifiably male or female figurine. The Tile-o-matic will reveal each user’s video image tile by tile for each yes response. For each don’t know both the Morph-o-meter and the Tile-o-matic do not change. GENDERBENDER (Release 1.0) was exhibited as part of the summer installment of Image du Futur in Montreal (May-September). GENDERBENDER Release 2.0 will introduce the two player internet version. GENDERBENDER Release 3.0 will contain the additional feature of the creation of an online avatar that reflects the gender profile that the user gives it. The Self-Test allows the user to construct a personal gender profile of twenty masculine, feminine or neutral traits. Once created it can act as a gendered knowbot that will visit chat groups, perform searches and then report back to it’s master on its discoveries, experiences, exploits and perhaps provide a little black book for actual meat and flesh encounters.

  • Greg Garvey, Canada