PRINT February 2001


John F. Simon, Jr.

TRANSMEDIALE (WWW.TRANSMEDIALE.DE), a media-art festival and competition that takes place in Berlin this month, is introducing a new category devoted to software art. As a judge of that part of the competition (along with Florian Cramer, a lecturer in comparative literature at Freie Universität Berlin, and Ulrike Gabriel, a media artist, and with the guidance of artistic director Andreas Broeckmann), I was most interested in artists who had trained on computers in art school, outgrown commercial applications, and turned to writing their own code. Their work often critiques the limitations of the software industry and its products. The result is a kind of creative writing that, as German media theorist Friedrich Kittler puts it, “gains the enormous power to do what it says.” Here are four examples:

Code as Parody

Adrian Ward (UK), “Signwave Auto-Illustrator”


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