chmod – change file mode bits
The computer as theater, as writer of love letters, the computer as world, a place for revolution, art as executable. chmod +x artpresents artists that turn our ideas, dreams and fantasies about machines and code up side down and show programming as an infinitely intriguing way of creating. Code is a medium. Whether it is used to formulate instructions for a machine, ideas for people or both. The writing of it influences and shapes the creative process of the artist. For that reason, ghost programmers may be left at home. Besides the importance of writing code yourself, it is essential to show that code. Without source, software art remains a magic trick. Do It Yourself and show us your sh*t!
Microcodes are very small code-based artworks. Each one is a fully contained work of art. The conceptual meaning of each piece is revealed through a combination of the title, the code and the results of running them on a computer.
Pall Thayer is an Icelandic artist working primarily with computers and the Internet. He is devout follower of open-source culture. His work is developed using open-source tools and source-code for his projects is always released under a GPL license. His work has been exhibited at galleries and festivals around the world with solo shows in Iceland, Sweden and New York and notable group shows in the US, Canada, Finland, Germany and Brazil (to name but a few). Pall Thayer has an MFA degree in visual arts from Concordia University in Montreal. He is an active member of Lorna, Iceland’s only organization devoted to electronic arts. He is also an alumni member of The Institute for Everyday Life, Concordia/Hexagram, Montreal. Pall Thayer currently works as a digital media developer at SUNY Purchase College, New York.
love2 is an open source simulation of an emulation. This program simulates the Manchester Mark 1 computer’s Loveletters (the first computer generated text) which in turn is the subject of an emulation written by the artist David Link. Link’s program emulates the program written originally by Christopher Strachey in 1952.
love2 is a reverse engineering job created by repeatedly rerunning Link’s Loveletters to obtain the text strings and all the variant sentence structures. These were then programmed in Perl. love2 uses a ‘template structure’, also known as a ‘slot’ or ‘substitution’ system. It then applies randomising techniques to create its variant texts.
Wayne Clements is a visual artist and a writer. His artworks have been shown in many festivals and exhibitions of electronic art. un_wiki received the Award of Distinction, Net Vision, Prix Ars Electronica (2006), and was shown in Connecting Worlds, ICC Gallery Tokyo (2006), in a specially commissioned Japanese language version. His artworks have been shown recently in Madrid, Barcelona, and Athens; notably also in Valencia where logo_wiki was part of the curated presentation Antisocial Notworking.
He completed a practice-based Ph.D. in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design (2005) which investigated the relationship between art and computers.
Island2 is a free software application which creates a semi-permanent, isolated island in the computer’s memory. This island remains invisible, untouched and unmoveable in physical memory until the computer is either switched off or rebooted. island2 is an intervention within a hidden territory provoking and exacerbating a theatre of present abstraction, constraint and hiding.
The original island implementation runs as a loadable kernel module for various Linux kernels and occupies 4MB of RAM (Random Access Memory). Future iterations feature hidden island networking making use of obscure protocols as part of the promiscuOS project. PromiscuOS aims to remove segmentation and objectification from all levels of any system in favour of the generation, distribution and execution of promiscuous code across all instances.
island2 has been ported to run on a few small computers (for example, Atmel’s AVR microcontrollers), and will in the future run on a wide range of consumer devices (DVD players, mobile phones).
Martin Howse operates within the fields of discourse, speculative hardware (environmental data in open physical systems), code (an examination of layers of abstraction), free software and the situational (performances and interventions).
Harwoods Class Library is a codework – a combination of program code and written text – that stresses the material conditions of working with code and its poetic form. In computing, a ‘Class library’ is a collection of subroutines, together used to produce software; or in this case ready to be executed in opposition to bourgeois lifestyle as class action.
Harwood is currently working with Richard Wright and Matsuko Yokokoji on a series of Social Telephony projects. He previously worked with Mongrel 1997-2007, a celebrated artists group specialising in digital media. They had an international reputation for their pioneering arts projects, usually combined with working with marginalised peoples who are on low incomes, the socially excluded and cultural minorities.