[NetBehaviour] this code is not my own

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Sun Sep 28 12:35:40 CEST 2008

benjamin wrote:

>     this work is not my own. it is not my own because i have not created
> it.
> i did not create the connection between these keys and the virtual
> memory with which they interact; nor did i create the manner in which
> these words will be understood.

Nor did you create the category of art or the genre of net.art. But that
does not mean that your work would exist if you did not make it.

> a painter who paints did not create the paint with which they work; if
> so, they did not create the paint's pigment; if so, they did not create
> the canvas; if so they did not cut the wood from which the canvas frame
> has been made; if the wood had not been cut straight, then the picture
> would not be a rectangle.
> the picture is not a rectangle anyway.

And yet, they paint.

This can be contrasted with the postindustrial/outsourcing/offshoring
approach of Kostabi, Koons and Hirst.

(Or with a traditional artist's studio where an assistant would paint
the clothes or the hands.)

> through my work with coding i have come to see that no ones work is
> their own, we can simply make manifest with the materials we have
> learned to control.

There come a point at which what one is controlling is the people who
are actually controlling the materials. At that point one's materials
are human beings, and the art is management not code.

At that point the potential of code to resist its exploitation by
manageralism collapses and the artist simply reflects the ego of
corporate information culture.

Harold Cohen's talk at the Tate a few years back (available to stream
http://www.tate.org.uk/onlineevents/webcasts/harold_cohen/default.jsp )
mentions the idea of code as craft.

- Rob.

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