I think you need to look at the whole coding process. There is
always an author for the code and there is a result from running the
I think in New Media there's always a conflation between making a
tool and using a tool to make something.
Take Duchamp's readymades as an example. His one piece, "In Advance
of a Broken Arm" is a snow shovel hung on a gallery wall.
The snow shovel is a tool but it's been transformed into art by
hanging it in a gallery. The title is as much part of the work as the
So in Tanaka's piece the title is very important. THe notion of
having colors equal sound(music) is an ancient quest as much as Deus
Ex Machina or animating machines and giving them life.
A bit of code in the shape of Mondrian paintings is still just code.
That is unless it is exhibited in an art gallery, then it can become
or be transformed into art.
The exploit code link below is rather interesting. It leads to a
security site. I'm assuming it's that although I suspect it's a
hacker's site. So let's think about that for a minute.
If you create a bit of code that exploits a weakness in a program is
it art? I'd say not unless you are an artist and say that it is art.
If you are a hacker you're intentions are different.
So if you are an artist and say that a particular program such as
removing the capabilities of a computer from displaying images on the
screen is a performance then indeed,
it is a performance. Why because the action places the program
within the discourse of performance art. Does that mean that all
snow shovels are art because of Duchamp?
Again obviously not!
Speaking of non- human performances, Alexi Melamud did an art work a
few years back where he worked with elephants who were taught to
paint paintings. He has a gallery that represents him and the
painting were sold to art collectors.
I've also seen TV news reports about this phenomena. And of course
Alexi does a performance with these elephants and he documents the
performances on video. These are also for sale in a gallery.
I believe that an a priori intention create a performance before
writing a code that will do something makes that code a performance.
By the same token if an artist decides a bit of code is performance
art then it is a performance.
For example, I could right a code that doesn't function. It doesn't
do anything, it doesn't work, it doesn't run etc.. Maybe it might run
in some programming environment or language that hasn't been invented
yet. But If I designate the whole action as a performance it is
indeed performance art.
On Mar 18, 2014, at 7:41 AM, Andreas Broeckmann wrote:
> Dear Rob,
> thanks for the suggestions.
> > I find treating artworks as quasi-subjects is a mystification (they
> > are a medium of communication, not an expressive subject), but
> it's a
> > very tempting one.
> i share your opinion about mystification, and was more interested
> in the technical question whether images can be made to
> "perform" (as in process) in the same way that text is made to
> perform (as software code). i understand that the way in which
> computers process information, they are dependent on this
> information coming in as strings of binary code, right? and in that
> sense, a programming environment like "Piet" is a different way of
> encoding (textual, linear) digital code.
> (i was also thinking of metaphorical treatments of images "as code"
> in works like Sebastian Lütgert/Robert Luxemburg's "The Conceptual
> Crisis of Private Property..." (2003), or the acoustic
> interpretation of images as in Atau Tanaka's "9m14s Over
> Vietnam" (1998)).
> Am 18.03.14 03:18, schrieb Rob Myers:
>> On 17/03/14 12:13 PM, Andreas Broeckmann wrote:
>>> I'm not sure how relevant the question is, but are there
>>> instances of
>>> *images* performing as software code?
>> There's piet:
>> Or using errors in image handling libraries as an exploit:
>> I find treating artworks as quasi-subjects is a mystification
>> (they are
>> a medium of communication, not an expressive subject), but it's a
>> tempting one.
>> - Rob.