by Lan Zhang

Hack(Comedy) is a computational comedy net art interface that allows audiences to write with virtual comedians who generate materials from borrowed comic sources. Such interface is also used in a Hack(Comedy) live performance where human actors are acting out the generated output from the virtual comedians.

It aims to interrogate our perception of humor through a procedurally live generation that copies and reflects condensed themes and identities in the American comedy landscape. With text input such as words and phrases, virtual comedian modules will complete writing sentences using word references from the scraped transcript compilations.

Visitors can interact with virtual comedians in various ways. You can write with one comedian at a time, compare different comedians' output to the same input simultaneously, or assign a fixed length of words you want all selected comedians to rant on their own for.

My native language isn't English and I struggled to become culturally competent. I wanted to use this unexpected way of programming to reach the American humor pedestal. The design process, however, reinforces the failure of the my ideal pursuit of cultural competency and the comic absurdity of the pursuit itself.


Gold in Interaction Design for Social Change 2021, Student

Silver in Digital Art for Social Change 2021, Student

Bronze in Mix Media/Moving Image for Social Change 2021, Student

Created by:

Lead Designer

Lan Zhang

University or Design School

Parsons School of Design

Profile Website

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Project Website

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Video (direct link)

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