Rob Myers
Since 2003
Works in United States of America

PORTFOLIO (5)
BIO
Rob Myers is an artist and hacker based in the UK.

I have been creating images of the contemporary social and cultural environment through programming, design software and visual remixing since the early 1990s. My work is influenced by popular culture and high art in equal measures. My interest in remixing and sampling has led to my involvement in the Free Culture movement. I have been involved in the public consultation regarding the Creative Commons 2.0 and CC-UK licenses. All my visual art is available under a Creative Commons license.

My interest in programming has led to my involvement with the Free Software movement. I developed the Macintosh version of the Gwydion Dylan programming language compiler. All my software is available under the GNU GPL.
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DISCUSSION

Net 2.0 and new stuff


Found" doesn't mean inept, but "preset" is very unlikely to mean interesting. Some command of a medium is a prerequisite for expression within it. Installation and assemblage are easy to do but no easier to do well than any other medium.

People who don't know software well enough to be frustrated with its limitations are unlikely to know it well enough to do anything interesting with it (that is, to create interesting visual end products). And when you get frustrated with a medium the solution is either to move to another medium or to hack it.

The code in your pencil is like the graphite in your computer. Smudging or stippling with your code, debugging and extending your pencil all modify the medium you are using to meet your creative requirements. It's true that spending a decade making the perfect pencil won't result in a particularly interesting sketch when there are HBs just lying around, but you do need to know how to sharpen them.

I repeat: it is because the end results are what matter that the artist's technical ability to realise those end results is a factor.

Dave's list of questions fails to assert the primacy of whatever it is trying to assert the primacy of. We are discussing artistic competence, not technical purity. If you want to paint a plain purple canvas and cannot mix a purple or stretch a canvas then you are incompetent. If you want to produce a realtime spiral of drop-shadows and cannot script it or hack it you are incompetent. Technical incompetence is artistic incompetence (where it is not competent performance).

Coding is no different from any other kind of computing activity. What in the self-image of the profession that used to master perspective, anatomy, colour theory, metallurgy, chemistry and other technical skills, and that currently waxes theoretic at such tedious length, makes coding such kryptonite?

DISCUSSION

Net 2.0 and new stuff


The artist must understand and be able to modify the construction of the tools they are using precisely in order to achieve the visual end product that they want. The opposite extreme to process wankery is technical ineptness, and it is no more interesting.

In contemporary art the ideal artist is a manager of outsourced production. Compared to this even getting your hands dirty with shrinkwrapped software is the wrong sort of work. So either refuse managerialism and hack the tools you need to make the art you want or embrace it and pay someone else to come up with your work. Acting out the role of the Mac Operator in art is a bit 1991.

Programmers aren't artists, they are engineers and/or mathematicians. That engineering and/or mathematics may produce art, though.

DISCUSSION

When you go surfclubbin', don't forget your hat.


What's a surfclub?

Do you have to plant pampas grass on your front lawn or something?

DISCUSSION

Net Ae 2.0 postmortem


Inventing dozens of different coloured wheels that all spin in the same direction is a product of the academic base of net art. There's nothing wrong with project-based work, but there is something wrong with the culture of the monetization of trivial differences that art threatens to share with mass culture.

DISCUSSION

Summer Reading Suggestions


Relational Aesthetics is good for making sense of contemporary art.

And in no particular order:

"Sweet Dreams" by Joanna Brucker
"Free Software, Free Society" by Richard Stallman
"Censoring Culture" by Atkins et al
"Free Culture" by Lawrence Lessig
"The Laws Of Cool" by Alan Liu
"Essays On Art & Language" by Charles Harrison
"OurSpace" by Christine Harold
"Collecting Contemporary Art" by Louisa Buck
"Rhythm Science" DJ Spooky/Paul Miller
"Purple Cow" by Seth Goodin
"The Dedalus Book Of Absinthe" by Phil Baker