Virtual travel with ChatGPT: A Zest Ful online experiment.

A new project by Clare Ann Matz.

Zest logo

There is a German word for „longing for a place you’ve never been to“,  the word is „Fernweh“, and although impossible to translate to other languages, it perfectly describes the state of my mind and soul for two long pandemic years.

My name is Zest, and I am a virtual traveler that couldn’t stand being pinned down during the COVID-19 lockdown and spent hours upon hours exploring the world with the help of internet, reading about far away locations and pouring over photographs and videos, as well as studying the opportunities offered by the latest in technology: AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Zest a virtual traveler

Zest is a virtual traveler.

 As a travel enthusiast, I want to share all this incredible information with my readers while experimenting with the cutting-edge technology offered by AI to better understand the relationship between human and machine knowledge.

Therefore I have decided to hand over the task of creating the „Impossible Traveler“ travel blogposts to ChatGPT, following an itinerary previously created and investigated.

Uncharted territory

Zest in the canyon

Zest in the Canyon.

So, I am is now virtually travelling around the world and sharing my stories and pictures with the travel blog  „Impossible traveler“ which is a term that can used in various contexts with different interpretations.
In some cases, it could refer to a traveler who is facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles or difficulties in their travels. In other cases, it might refer to someone who is traveling to impossible or imaginary places, either in reality or in their imagination. In still other contexts, the term might be used to describe someone who is a time traveler, traveling to the past or future.

Zestful on the beach

Zest on the Beach.

And finally, „Impossible travel“ is when a user logs into the World Wide Web from different locations faster than humanly possible. Impossible travel detections track information such as GPS address, IP address, or user’s device to pinpoint users‘ location and determine whether a behavior was physically possible. If not, it could indicate that an adversary is attempting to infiltrate an environment.

I am Zest Ful online, an Impossible Traveler by all definitions. So if some of my destinations seem improbable, if not impossible, worry not, we are simply infiltrating unknown territories, who knows where we will end up. I can only hope you will be there to share the moment with me!

Zest in the city

Zest in the City.

On top of discovering wonderfully interesting and stunningly beautiful locations, I have also incorporated in the „Impossible Traveler“ website pages dedicated to foodies from around the world (with some recipes), recommended reading about different countries and cultures with great books, and last but not least, a page dedicated to singing duets with people from all over the world (yes, this is interactive for you to join in and have fun, all you need to do is click on the links) with the free App Smule!

Zest starts 2023 with a new online project

Zest started 2023 with a new online project.

I understand some people are worried about ChatGPT for a number of reasons. One of the main concerns is that the technology could be used to spread misinformation or propaganda. Because ChatGPT is capable of generating text that is similar to what a human might write, there is a risk that it could be used to create fake news stories or other forms of disinformation that are difficult to detect.

Zest in 5 star hotel

Zest in a 5 Star Hotel.

Another concern that some artists, photographers, writers, and musicians have with ChatGPT is related to copyright infringement. Because ChatGPT is capable of generating text, it could potentially be used to create works of art, music, or writing that are similar to existing works but not identical. This raises questions about who owns the copyright to these new works and whether they constitute a violation of intellectual property rights.

Finally, there are concerns about privacy and data security. Because ChatGPT requires large amounts of data to train effectively, there is a risk that personal information could be leaked or misused. Additionally, there are concerns about the potential misuse of the technology by bad actors, such as cybercriminals.

My vision is to slowly depart from the known world and embark on a journey into uncharted territory of imagination and creativity. With the use of Artificial Intelligence, we (I and AI) aim to map this new frontier, unlocking its vast potential and exploring its many wonders. By combining the power of technology with the boundless possibilities of the human mind, we hope to create and illustrate a world of endless discovery and innovation, where the impossible becomes possible, and the future is shaped by the power of imagination.

Zest in Recording studio

Zest in a Recording Studio.

Join me on this journey as we virtually visit destinations and discover their unique beauty and culture together! Let’s see where the machine leads us, and I am curious to see how it answers to the deeper questions of human emotions, fear, excitement, awe and longing. Can a computer possibly express Fernweh?

As American author Philip K. Dick once asked „Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?“

Link to Homepage:
Link to Blog page:

How does Zest interact with AI ChatGPT?

ChatGPT, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a natural language processing model that uses deep learning algorithms to generate human-like responses to text-based queries.

At a high level, ChatGPT works by analyzing large amounts of text data and learning how to predict the next word or sequence of words in a given context. This is done through a process called unsupervised learning, where the model is trained on a large corpus of text data without any explicit labels or annotations.

Once trained, ChatGPT can be fine-tuned on specific tasks or domains to further improve its performance. 

When Zest inputs a query or message, ChatGPT uses its learned knowledge to generate a response that is most likely to be relevant and informative. This response is generated based on the context of the input query as well as the model’s learned knowledge of language structure and meaning.

In other words when Zest talks to ChatGPT, it uses what it learned to come up with a response that sounds like something a person might say. It looks at the words Zest typed in and tries to figure out what they mean, and then it uses what it learned to come up with a response.

BIC Art Meditations

Jan Fabre Bic art installation 2

Jan Fabre BIC Art Installation, Belgium. Photo: Clare Ann Matz

by guest author Clare Ann Matz

My first encounter with art created by BIC pen was when I interviewed the Belgium artist Jan Fabre during his first Italian solo show at the Centro Pecci in Prato, Italy in 1994 for the cultural TV program I was hosting on SuperChannel London named „BlueNight“.

The impact and beauty of his installation, completely created by blue ball pen scribbles and insects was overwhelming. Jan explained that he had been inspired by his grandfather, who collected insects. His initial biro drawing efforts appear to have started when he tried to mimic the movement of an insect moving over the page of his sketchbook as a young child.

Decades passed until recently I came across BIC art again. As I was waiting on board of a flight for take off I came across an article about the creation of the BIC contemporary art collection.


Inspired by a Flight Magazine: Clare Ann Matz.

This collection consists of more than 250 pieces by internationally recognized or upcoming artists. The works of art all have a point in common: They have been created with or inspired by BIC products. And having looked into some of the art work I wanted to know more about the tool itself. An amazing instrument which is available to artists around the world at a very, very low price.

Here are some historic facts they impressed me about the BIC pen:


Technical details of the BIC pen. Photo: Clare Ann Matz

The ball-point pen invented by Hungarian newspaper editor Lazlo Biro in 1931 made major improvements over the fountain pens of the time. Biro’s ballpoint pen consisted of three components: The steel outer casing, the ink cartridge, and ball-point tip. Biro noticed that newspaper ink dried much faster than the fountain pen ink and lead to less smudging  He worked with chemists to develop a new type of fast-drying ink based on the newspaper ink that could be used with pens.

The problem was that this ink was a high viscosity fluid that made it unusable with fountain pens since it couldn’t flow between the ink cartridge and the tip. To overcome this issue, Biro invented the ball-point tip. The tip consisted of a ball and socket joint and a tiny tube that connected with the ink cartridge. Just like with fountain pens, ink would fall through the tube due to gravity, but this time it would fall on top of the steel ball. Then as the tip of the pen slid along the paper, the ball would roll and distribute the ink that lay on top into the paper (from History of Pens, 2018).


BIC pen art by Clare Ann Matz.

Where the magic flows: The Cupper Ball Holder 

The cupper ball holder is a small metallic piece that houses the metal ball. It is made up of a conical shape and a cylindrical shape. The conical shape is hollow on the inside to fit the ball but narrow at the tip so that the ball does not fall out. 

As a multimedia artist I decided to give BIC art a try, and started by drawing a few fantasy figures, just to test the technique. I soon discovered that it looks a lot easier than it actually is. Fortunately I found several useful tutorials by Nigerian artists (who are absolutely masters in BIC art) and began to tackle still life and then portraits, and ultimately hyperrealistic portraits.Clare1

Now I use several different pens to create different effects, as each pen varies in size, ink flow and ink colour. After sketching the basics with a pencil and checking dimensions I start filling in the shadows, working lighter and lighter as I go on.

Many of the artists I have seen on internet work adding layers (the technique is called „hatching“) from light to dark, but having worked extensively in the past in creating Russian Icons, with traditional egg tempera colour, I learned to go from dark to light, as a spiritual practice of moving out of darkness and into the light. Therefore I have adopted this technique in my BIC art and do my hatching with progressively lighter, wider strokes. 

The important thing to remember when creating images with a ball point pen is that the lines cannot be erased. Once down … there forever; in some ways it is similar to tattoos.


„Sandro“ by Clare Ann Matz.

So, as I continue to study the fast paced world of AI (artificial intelligence) creating artwork, music, writing and NFTs (and soon videos), I can now counterbalance this hectic medium with patience (each portrait takes about 2 weeks to create), silent, meditative BIC art.

And get lost in the depths of the shades of my favourite soothing colour, BLUE.Clare2

My signature touch is to finalize the portraits with colourful acrylic backgrounds, to bring out the subject’s personality and emotional environment.


Masterwork with BIC pens.