An admission of guilt and new Microcode

Posted by Pall Thayer | Wed Apr 29th 2009 1:41 p.m.

I have a secret. I've been carrying it around with me for a couple of months now. Actually, I haven't carried it around. It's been living in a cabinet in my living room. I am now going to reveal this secret because it's gone a tad bit further than I expected it to.

The conceptual artist On Kawara has 101 followers on twitter at the time of this writing. I have only 20-something. But I am On Kawara on twitter. Or rather, On Kawara on twitter is a Perl script that gets automatically run once a day on a server in a cabinet in my living room. I haven't done anything to publicize his activities on twitter. All he does is announce, "I AM STILL ALIVE" once a day. He doesn't follow anyone. Yet, somehow, it seeped out into the twitter community. The "Perl Net::Twitter" client name should be a dead give away.

The interesting thing about this (and my original reason for launching it) is that it blatantly negates the whole idea behind On Kawara's "I AM STILL ALIVE" messages. Whereas those did indeed confirm that he was still alive, this doesn't. It's an automated process that he doesn't even control. Were he to die, he would continue to announce "I AM STILL ALIVE", everday, on twitter. So it really does two things; by falsely confirming that he is alive, it casts doubt on the issue but it also keeps the notion of him actively announcing that he is alive, alive.

So what may sound like a simple prank is actually pretty complex and gets more complex the more you think about it.

Anyway, I've now released the On_Kawara twittering script as one of the Microcodes at http://pallit.lhi.is/microcodes

This throws a new wrench into the works. The script is posted exactly as it is, complete with the username and the password. I can't even begin to imagine where that will go.

best r.
Pall Thayer
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