Pall Thayer
Since the beginning
Works in Greenwich, Connecticut United States of America

Pall Thayer is an artist.
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The Microcodes Primer: A guide for non-coders towards a conceptual appreciation of code

I posted this before but now that the mailing list is mailing again I'd like to post it again.

The Microcodes Primer uses Microcodes ( ) as examples for a conceptual analysis of the inner workings of code-based art.

Pall Thayer



The Microcode Primer, a guide for non-coders towards a conceptual appreciation of code

I've published a short text to help non-coders along in developing a conceptual appreciation of programming code in coded artwork. It uses Microcodes ( ) as examples.

Also accessible from the Microcodes website.

Oh, and it's supposed to have some sort of free license on it. I forgot to add it and probably won't get around to it until sometime tomorrow as it's very late.



Prod your university into the 21st century

Rhizome editors, if you're paying attention, this really should be published to the front page.


commodify yr consumption

First off... Holy crap, we are having a dialogue about art in the rhizome discussion forum! "
Yeah, crazy. Although this moderation crap is really annoying and I don't get rhizome posts in the mail anymore. I guess it's the last step in eradicating the "community" that rhizome once was.

First off, I just want to point out that, like you say in the essay, Curt, I'm not suggesting a qualitative difference between "deep" netart and "surface" netart. Just a difference. But like Eric says, the issues of subjectivity in these two different practices makes them very different and I think one of the primary differences has to do with subjectivity. I'll admit that for a long time I fooled myself into thinking that my own work was about avoiding subjectivity entirely but I came to my senses and stopped trying to make that claim. However, as I mentioned in a talk I gave at the Pace Digital Gallery, the issue of subjectivity is still quite important. The fact that I can't fully predict the outcome is key to the work. But of course, there will always be a number of elements in each piece that depend on subjective choices that I make and that's what makes the work "my" work. So I came up with the term "diluted subjectivity" which I think describes it rather well.

I don't quite remember who said it but (I'm paraphrasing) "The choice to avoid subjectivity is subjective in itself." (aha... it was H. Gene Blocker)

If anyone has actually succeeded in making a totally non-subjective work of art, we probably wouldn't even know about it because, due to its lack of the artist's "hand", we wouldn't know how or why to regard it and therefore probably wouldn't regard it at all.

But I would say that the issue of subjectivity as it relates to "surf clubs" is a valid issue to pursue because this practice does represent a sort of return to subjectivity after the automated mash-ups that have been a bit of a trend.

"artists caught up in process" I don't think it's quite that simple. Some of the more strictly generative work could perhaps be said to be about the process but I think most of the coded work that gets some attention is about the process within distinct contexts that define the concept. And this is why I think such people should be showing their code as well as the results because often those contexts are most clearly described at the code level (but I'm veering away from the discussion at hand).