Living in the Strange Loop

All six of you who have read my novels know that, among other things, I’m kind of obsessive about the Hofstadterian notion of the Strange Loop.

Yesterday in my internet voyaging looking for examples of Magic Eye pictures1 (of which I could not remember the name), I came upon Michael Bach’s wonderful website about optical and visual illusions, which led me to Goo-Shun Wang’s quite marvelous short animated movie Hallucii, about a guy (who quite resembles me, actually) who stumbles into a strange loop and, quite cleverly, (eventually, apparently), finds his way out.

Take a few minutes to watch, and see what it’s like to be me:

Below the fold: a footnote & a painful comment.
UPDATE The version on Goo-Shun Wang’s site doesn’t seem to be working today. Below the fold, I’ve embedded a youtube version.

A brief Cliff’s Note on strange loops in Sundman’s novels: Within “Cheap Complex Devices” are several loops, with various sub-books and their authors contradicting each other & creating paradoxes. One level up, Cheap Complex Devices taken as a whole is in a strange loop with Acts of the Apostles. In The Pains, the manner in which the protagonist exits his loop is not dissimilar to the technique used by the protagonist of Hallucii.

(1) About “Magic Eye” pictures, from “Notes on the Source Code” in Cheap Complex Devices:

Although each stands alone as a work of art, when seen in the context of the other each takes on a new depth, as in Magic Eye pictures, where by crossing your eyes as if you were fucked up you can see a whole new image, a different layer of abstraction.


  1. You might enjoy (or be horrified by) Echochrome, which is a video game in which the game reality is defined by what you see or don’t see. Your only control is to position your observer point of view in such a way as to see what you want to see.

    I also rather like non-Euclidean loops such as the Painful picture maze at…, or playing with Croquet portals.

  2. Echochrome: Wow, it’s like Mr. Lux in the monastery!. Cool, and thanks.

    Also thanks for the pointer to Cheeseburger’s artwork maze. I had forgotten about that.

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