The Final Problem
The Final Problem will be a city-specific multi-disciplinary project encompassing elements
of writing, text mining, data-visualization, and community psychogeography, woven together through algorithmic composition. The piece will loosely appropriate the conventions and mechanics of a crime novel as constraints for the filtering and framing of content and the development of narrative rules. There will be three in-gallery manifestations: augmented installation, real-time performance, and free lunch.
The work title is taken from a story by former Edinburgh resident Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in which he devises a plot to kill his famous character as a means (unsuccessful) to move on to more meaningful projects. The subtitle comes from the saying “there ain't no such thing as a free lunch” popularized in a novel by Robert Heinlein where Sherlock Holmes' older brother, the indolent human computer Mycroft, appears as a sentient machine. No free lunch is a phrase rooted in economics but with implications within machine learning (no free lunch theorem) and in relation to the question of whether software and data should be free.