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detail

The Liar Paradox (Oliver North Möbius)
1991
2 Computers, 2 printers, paper
6' X 20'-40' X 2'

Two computers drive two printers mounted on facing walls. A möbius strip of paper runs out of one printer and into the other, a continuous loop that is printed over and over again, front and back. One printer prints questions, the other prints answers. The text is from the testimony of Oliver North to Congress, excerpted questions and answers concerning truth and lies. The questions and answers fall randomly with each other; any answer works with any question. Eventually the paper fills with text until it is completely blackened with ink.
Some of the questions and answers follow:

A: Those are the facts as I know them.

A: I was provided with a different version of the facts that is inconsistent with what I knew to be the truth.

A: I came here to tell you the truth.

A: I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that input.

A: They are at essence a lie.

A: We fixed it by omission.

A: I put great value in the truth and, as I said, I came here to tell it.

A: He and I knew that his version was wrong, intentionally misleading.

A: I'm saying I decided that I would continue to participate in preparing a version that was innacurate.

A: I did a lot of things and I want to stand up and say that I'm proud of them.

A: Oh, absolutely, yes. I'm here to tell the facts as I know them.

A: I absolutely said it. I said a lot of other things.

A: I don't deny that I said it. I'm not saying I remember it either.

A: By their very nature they are a lie.

Q: Are you telling us that he told you a different version of the facts, or are you telling us that he told you to write down a different version of the facts?

Q: That was not true, was it?

Q: Are you saying that you and he agreed that he would say that?

Q: By putting out this false version of the facts, were you telling a false story?

Q: On whose authority did you type in false statements?

Q: Are you saying that you decided that it was appropriate to put out a false version of the facts or are you saying that you decided it was appropriate to follow his instructions?

Q: You don't deny it?

Q: Did you say, "That's not the truth?"

Q: Who decided to put out false statements?

Q: So what you're telling us is that you falsely said that you had that discussion?

Q: And one of the problems was that you had participated, had you not, in putting forward a false story with respect to it?

Q: Did you ever say, "You can't do that, it's not true"?

Q: Did you discuss the wisdom of putting out a false version of the facts?

 

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