- The use of an open world model of informatics vs the "closed world" simulations that dominate the use of computational reesarch, databases, and particularly net art.
The limited epistemological potential of closed world / sim world esthetics is that they require the 'rules' to be a priori. Therefore, you can only know and test what you expect to know and test, and the dynamics you can observe stay within the parameters of the world you designed. The open world model encoded into the design of the OOZ database sustains multiple post facto interpretations, that sustain both categorical and . Again, this is a radial departure from similar models.
Compare with another netart project by some colleagues of mine, the Tate commissioned agoraXchange.net. This is a more sophisticated form of Sim City with real political innovation, but nonetheless it is still a closed, predefined world. i.e. the only thing that can happen are those things explicitly drawn from the political rules which are written by the artist. This is one sort of experiment and it has a preexisting internal logic that may or may not be validated. The OOZ database is different, it is an open-ended archive of material that is not generated by a set of assumptions and rules. This does not mean however, that structure may or may not be discovered amongst the data based material but the structural thesis is not predetermined. The project is open to the empirical richness of the actual interactions generated by the robotic geese, to the character and moods of the geese. The interface is not a passive one that tries to obscure the human participants. It does not produce a representation that claims to passively represent. The robot is a very active interface that inserts itself among the geese, interfering and generating responses. The robotic goose embodies the idea that to observe a system is to interfere with it.