Thursday, 20 November 2014

Chinese Room, scraperboard, 1998

The philosophical concept of the Chinese Room, as explored in this intriguing story by Chris Lawson (Eidolon, 1998) involves a question of artificial intelligence: if something can respond to input (like questions coming through a slot in a room) according to a set of rules (a coded book in an unknown language, for example) does this constitute consciousness? The answer is not so clear, the more you think about it. The medium of this illustration is scraperboard (or scratchboard), a card with a chalky coating painted with indian ink and then scratched into using a scalpel-like tool, and a favourite of mine throughout my twenties, especially for b&w works.

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