My main concern is defining programming and scripting languages as artistic
tools. I think they should be more widely taught in art academies and
departments as artistic tools. It doesn't really matter what the end product
is called. Anyone can try as much as they want to coin a certain term and
decide it's meaning but in the end the artists themselves will provide the
definition. The only reason I have a problem with what you are saying is
this: take something like Napiers SpringyDots. It's art. It's software.
Isn't it then software art? I think a term like 'software art' is too
ambiguous to be something that defines a specific genre of computer related
artwork (one of these days, we'll probably have a bunch of sub-categories
like 'abstract visual software art', 'interface software art',
'data-relation software art', 'faulty error-prone software art', etc).
Besides, doesn't work that reflects or critiques a certain element of daily
life (such as the use of computers and computer programs) already have some
kind of sub-category within the arts? Take for instance the project you
mention by Matthew Fuller (the MS Word dialogue boxes). Let's say someone
does similar work involving all the different street signs that can be found
along Main Street in Mytown, Whereever (it's probably been done by someone).
Isn't it the same sort of work? Aren't they addressing very similar issues?
Should we then call the streetsign project 'street art'? Let's take another
example, Eldar Karhalev and Ivan Khimin's Screen Saver. One of the winners
of the Read_Me 1.2 festival. This type of instructional artwork isn't new
and isn't unique to computers. Sounds to me more like Fluxus than software.
I don't feel that we need a term that separates work about software from
work about kitchen sinks. But I do feel that there is a need to establish
the process of creating certain types of software as an artistic act so that
it may be properly addressed within the art community and schools.
As far as Shirley's work goes, as I said before, the artists will define
what is and what is not software art. If she says it's software art, who are
we to argue? Presenting this type of 'software art' as an installation piece
is very interesting. Poses a lot of questions. As I mentioned sometime
before, artists software is usually approachable by the public. You can
download it and do stuff with it and gain a first hand experience of it as
software running on your own computer. But why should that mean that it's
'more' software than Shirley's project? Appearantly she's using the same
processes as artists who present their software on the internet and
elsewhere in that she's using code and the essence of code to generate
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andreas Broeckmann" <firstname.lastname@example.org
To: "Pall Thayer" <email@example.com>;
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: Fwd: Rhizome -- Software Art Installation
> dear pall,
> thanks for your response,
> >But what it comes down to is that if Shirley claims to
> >be using artist made software in an art context then it must be 'software
> >art'. How does this work (or at least our perception of it based on the
> >information provided) differ from say, Mark Napier's "SpringyDotsApplet"
> well, maybe it doesn't, which is why Napier's piece may also not
> qualify; what i am trying to argue is that to say that any 'artist
> made software in an art context must be software art', is reductive
> and makes the term utterly redundant. you can do that, but it only
> means that we have to develop a different term that holds the notion
> of reflexivity which i am arguing for.
> >It sounds like they didn't receive the types of submissions they were
> >expecting which may just be because the artists themselves have
> >understandings of the term 'software art'. But if this is to be the case,
> >that the term 'software art' applies only to work that reflects on
> >and software culture, then what term do we apply to the other stuff?
> depends what it is: can be net art, can be generative design, can be
> interactive performance, all sorts of things; the way i understood
> the last jury at transmediale, what they meant was more in the line
> of what the tm.01 software jury also argued: within the field of
> software art ('restricted understanding'), many possible tracks have
> not been explored yet. you can also check out the many categories on
> where, in this cosmos, would you locate shirley's work?
> + ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup
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