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A 'strange loop' is a conceptual loop in which one feels like one is progressing, but yet always ends up exactly where one started.

A 'strange loop' is a conceptual loop in which one feels like one is progressing, but yet always ends up exactly where one started. Read more

pledged of $5,000 goal
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on September 18, 2011.

A 'strange loop' is a conceptual loop in which one feels like one is progressing, but yet always ends up exactly where one started.

Michael Zachary
Project by

Michael Zachary

First created  |  0 backed

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About this project

Strange loops were first conceived by Douglas Hofstadter, a physicist and researcher on cognition. In his 2007 book I Am a Strange Loop he defines strange loops as follows:

"What I mean by 'strange loop' is — here goes a first stab, anyway — not a physical circuit but an abstract loop in which, in the series of stages that constitute the cycling-around, there is a shift from one level of abstraction (or structure) to another, which feels like an upwards movement in a hierarchy, and yet somehow the successive "upward" shifts turn out to give rise to a closed cycle. That is, despite one's sense of departing ever further from one's origin, one winds up, to one's shock, exactly where one had started out. In short, a strange loop is a paradoxical level-crossing feedback loop." (pp. 101-102)

What This Project Is: I am a contemporary artist who is currently creating strange loops. The goal of this project is to create the first Kickstarter strange loop. This Kickstarter campaign does not exist in order to fund my project, this Kickstarter campaign is my project. I am asking all of you to help me in coming within one dollar of my stated goal without going over. By doing so no money will actually be collected and we will all end up back where we started.

Why Make This Project: I have reached the conclusion that the internet is simply one giant strange loop. Though it is potentially and theoretically a transformative market place of images and ideas, in practice it is simply a giant machine that allows us all to go through the same motions over and over again and end up in the same places. I like the idea of using the internet as a medium to make it's own structure and function transparent, and I like the idea of turning a machine on itself to see what happens.

The How: Simple. You all donate to within $1 of the target but DO NOT GO OVER. If you go over the project is a failure. We must fall short of the goal through great effort in order for the strange loop to be actualized. The strange loop is the goal.


  • Yes. Here are some writings by/about other artists who helped inspire this project:

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  • I will not answer this question directly, as the relational aspects of the work (for example trusting or not trusting fellow backers to not go over) as well as the risk are an important part of the work.

    I will however make the follow promises. If the project fails by exceeding $5,000, I will not spend the money. I will in no way ever profit from this project. I will ensure that no one else ever profits from this project. The money will never be spent and will be removed from circulation in a suitably permanent and public way, possibly as a performance.

    I should also state that pledges can still be canceled even after a funding target is met so if we do go over I will simply call some of you and ask you to cancel your pledges, thus creating your own small strange loops and putting us back under the target. So it is hard to imagine this actually happening.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more
    About $1.00 USD

    75 backers

    It is against the conceptual basis of this project for anything tangible to be gained by participation. However, in the tradition of other great artists all contributor/participants will be issued certificates recognizing their participation as artists in the creation of a true work of art. Certificates will of course be virtual but printing them out will not subtract from their artistic value.

    Estimated delivery:
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Funding period

- (30 days)