Tom Moody
Since 2002
Works in New York, New York United States of America

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Net 2.0 and new stuff

No, I'm in agreement with Joe that the field is the whole spectrum of computer culture, including digital rendering of video, etc. Interactivity and data mining are practiced by corporate entities for the "wrong" reasons just as much as they may be practiced by artists for the "right" reasons. The "low fi," "defaults" position of critique is as much from within as without.


Net 2.0 and new stuff

Knowing more is generally better than knowing less but I don't think that translates into needing to know c++ to be an effective computer artist."

c++ or any other language.

A "computer artist" might hate computers and the strength of his/her art might come from working in a field whose assumptions s/he questions. This [hypothetical] artist might use a "shrinkwrapped" program "wrong" without having a clue how the thing is programmed and create the "computer art" equivalent of Pollock's Guggenheim mural while an earnest artist-programmer team is merely churning out grant-friendly mood music.

This hypothetical artist might also teach herself a language as necessary to realize a piece (and then not talk about it) or come up with an impossibly complex series of personal workarounds to avoid learning the f-ing language.

Joe's painter metaphor is *not* overextended, Ethan. Those are three artists who all thought about how to get outside the limitations of their medium and their field. It expresses a range of reverence toward, and willingness to abuse the medium.


Net 2.0 and new stuff

The point of Dave's list of questions is that you don't evaluate art on technique, because someone can always claim to have a more refined technique.


Net 2.0 and new stuff

Gallery" artists job out fabrication either from the outset, like Damien Hirst, or when their careers "take off" such the they need help to crank out the product. The vast majority are hands on either because they lack the business initiative or because they are still producing primarily for themselves (and/or a small collector base) without a lot of commercial pressure. Judging from recent NY surveys art materials are pulled off the street corner and arranged, not fabricated. "Found' doesn't necessarily mean inept.


Net 2.0 and new stuff

We discussed this about 4 years ago on my, um, blog:

My friend Dave wrote:

How low level can one go in this contest...

... did the artist develop the "language" they used to write the program to produce the art...

... did the artist write the compiler which compiles the program into machine code which runs the program which displays the art....

... did the artist build the computer which was used to write the program and run the program...

... did the artist build the components for the computer which was used to write the program to ....

... did the artist manufacture the materials used to fabricate the components used for the computer....blah, blah, blah.

IMHO, it shouldn't matter if the artist is a programmer or not, it is the resulting visual product which matters (unless the artist is into "process" art so in this case, they get all anal about the endless details of how they made such and such widget art object. But then they are really just technicians, much like print makers who only can talk about hand making their own papers from grandma's antique but stained linen bedsheets and using exotic inks made from virtually extinct sea mammals).

FWIW, many programmers feel they are artists as well. They write "elegant," sparse, and minimal code with individual "style." Their code is their art, much akin to poetry.

Pre-developed software is a tool, so are programming development languages. They both are tools which can be used as a means to do interesting things.

Keep it real,
George Bush