John Nowak
Since 2004
Works in New York, New York United States of America

Discussions (7) Opportunities (0) Events (3) Jobs (0)
EVENT Turns One Year Old

Mon Aug 01, 2005 00:00 - Sun Jul 31, 2005

Today, on August 1st, ( celebrates the end of its first year of operation, and the start of the next. A year ago, launched with a handful of artists. Today, it features the works of over seventy artists and collaborative projects, nearly all of which are available under a Creative Commons license (

Its growth and success are due entirely to the community, who have taken advantage of how easy it is to add their own page and share their work with one of the largest online audiences for unconventional electronic art.'s allowing of anyone to edit the site and add their own pages, as well as its offering of free hosting for aural, visual, and software art, has enabled this to happen. The philosophy is that the best way to create a site of this type is to give the community as much control as possible, and artists from all around the world have stepped up and proven that our philosophy is correct.

In the coming year, I personally hope that the site will continue to grow at the rapid rate it has been. is a unique hub in the sense that is it only as good as the community makes it. Therefore, I urge all of you out there who are are trying to do something "new" to come share your artwork with us, and to encourage others to do the same. I know that I speak for the entire community when I say that we're looking forward to the next year of new additions, new directions for the site, and new community members.

- John Nowak,

EVENT relaunches in new, open format

Mon Dec 06, 2004 00:00 - Mon Dec 06, 2004

- - -, a site for unconventional computer and electronic art which features over 30 artists, has just relaunched in a new, open format.

Taking the form of a "wiki", artists can add their own pages to the site in order to share their work without any prior permission or registration. offers free hosting of audio, video, software, and whatever else the artists wish to share. As is a wiki, artists can also collaboratively edit and build a network of pages to document the aspects of the fields they work in, softwares they use, et cetera. welcomes contributions from those working with generative and algorithmic techniques, databending and circuitbending, net art, robotics, and any other "unconventional" form of electronic or computer art. Of course, everyone is welcome to simply visit the site and download some free artwork, all of which is licensed under a Creative Commons license or placed in the public domain.

With its new format and growing community, I am hopeful that will become a fixture in the world of computer and electronic art in the years ahead.

- John Nowak,


Re: netbehaviour: Programming Survey

On Aug 5, 2004, at 3:34 PM, Lemmy Caution wrote:

> 1.) What programming languages do you use?

C (and variants), Max, Supercollider/Smalltalk, Applescript, Javascript.

> 2.) Why did you choose the language(s) that you use,
> and how did you learn it/them?

I choose Max simply because its easy to use and very powerful. It's the
most important software for me. I learned Supercollider a bit just to
see if I liked it more than Max... which I do not currently. I learned
C because I was doing MUD programming (how embarrassing). I like C very
much. (I sound like a kid tonight... trying to type and watch a video
on how to petition for Nader... males can't multitask). I learned
Applescript because as a lifelong Mac user, it can make things a lot
easier, and it can at a bit of Apple-polish to text-based apps and such
(I hate programming GUIs). I'm still learning javascript, actually so I
can use it in Max 4.5, which offers it as an embedded language.
Hopefully I can apply it to my websites one day so they're not so damn
ugly. I also fear I'll eventually have to add something like php or
perl to my list of languages.

> 3.) Were you university-trained in programming or
> self-taught? What advantages and disadvantages do you
> see in this method of learning?

I am entirely self-taught. I think with C this doesn't make much of a
difference. With Max I wouldn't dream of learning it from someone
else... I am doing things with the environment that no one else is
because I've taught it to myself in my usual charging-bull kind of way.
I think for any tool or language you use for strictly creative
purposes, you're doing yourself a disservice if you learn from someone
else. I'm sure many disagree with me. Perhaps I just have a knack for
these things.

> 4.) How concerned are you with a language's political
> implications, i.e. with whether the language is open
> source or not? Why?

Not at all interested. Max is commercial software, but it is by far the
best tool/language for what I'm doing. I'm not going to go and switch
to Csound just because its open source. I have no problem monetarily
rewarding a group of people who put in tons of hard work and (gasp)
actually document their software very well.

> 5.) Does your choice of programming lamguage effect
> the way you approach a problem you wish to solve with
> that language?

Definitely. My love of object-based languages like Max, my love of
simple procedural languages like C, and my hatred of rigid
object-oriented languages like Java (sorry Java fans) means I tend to
solve things in interesting ways. I definitely follow the "as long as
it works" philosophy. I am quite organized and do comment everything,
but I won't worry that something isn't terribly elegant as long as it
works, its efficient, and its done. There isn't enough time for
idealism in programming... I'll keep the idealism for my political

> 6.) Did you come to New Media Art from Computer
> Science or from the Arts? Discuss the transition.

I came from music. I'm not yet 20, so its not as if I have a degree in
anything, but my interest in new media art stemmed from my interest in
generative music.

> 7.) What does programming add or subtract from an art
> object? Is the artist-programmer giving up control of
> the object by coding it, or introducing more control?

I'd say a different kind of control. It's macro-control, art abstracted
up a level. It lets you control a lot more, while having less control
over all the tiny details. It can add or subtract from an art object,
depending on how its used, just like anything else.

> 8.) Does each programming language imply an ontology?

Are you asking if a language can examine my teeth?
(Yes, of course each language implies an ontology.)

> 9.) Have you ever dreamed in code?

I've never dreamed IN code, but I have dreamed I was coding. I've once
or twice actually tried to solve problems by wiring up a Max patch in
my head while awake. I know that sounds idiotic, and perhaps made up,
but I assure you the oddball nature of Max can really fry your brain.
It's a quirky, idiosyncratic, and often forces you to work in strange
ways, but I love it.

> 10.) Can one code art objects that produce catharsis
> in the user?

Of course, although this is hardly ever my goal.

- John Nowak


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Calling All Unconventional Computer Music Artists

Jim Andrews wrote:

> A web site that makes this
> sort of claim and delivers only mp3's, to me that is more 'typical'
> than 'uncoventional' concerning music, digital or not.

I strongly disagree. The medium used has nothing to do with how "conventional" the art is. Most of the music I hear in online interactive works is actually very conventional, despite the fact that it is being used in a newer medium. There is plenty of room left to be "unconventional" when working with music alone, I can assure you.

That being said, is accepting interactive and generative software works too, provided that the music is the main focus of the works.

- John Nowak

DISCUSSION is now accepting interactive and generative works

After much discussion, will be accepting interactive and generative art. The music produced should be the main focus of the software. If you are interested in submitting material to, which will be launching officially on August 1st, please visit the website.