This has nothing to do with hoaxes, but I thought it was interesting, so I'm posting about it anyway. Also, it reminded me of the Compliment Machine
, which I posted about just a few days ago.
I received an email from Jennifer Baumeister, who tells me that she's an artist from Berlin working on a project called Comfort XxL, the comforting machine. Here's a description of it:
The comforting machine is an art project by the German artist Jennifer Baumeister. She asks people from different origins, age and gender to say comforting words into her camera. Selected clips are accessible through the machine, which looks like an 80s gambling machine. The audience is able to press a button, selecting a woman, man or child and a randomly chosen clip is shown. The user can repeat this procedure indefinitely. Comfort XxL is not only a machine that comforts people, it is also supposed to show how different people comfort in individual ways, the range of 'comforting styles' people have. The experiences and character of the comforter are revealed in every comforting word they say. Jennifer's website
has some examples of clips
viewable on the comforting machine. Jennifer is currently in England collecting comforting clips. She's next going to be in Belfast, from the 9th till the 18th of August 2007. So if you live in Belfast and want to say a few comforting words, check out where she's going to be.
I think I'm, in general, a pretty bad comforter. My usual tactic is to express puzzlement at why the person is so upset, and then I try to analyze the situation logically. However, I don't think logical analysis is what people seeking comfort are typically looking for.