[NetBehaviour] An admission of guilt and new Microcode

Pall Thayer pallthay at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 18:41:54 CEST 2009

I have a secret. I've been carrying it around with me for a couple of
months now. Actually, I haven't carried it around. It's been living in
a cabinet in my living room. I am now going to reveal this secret
because it's gone a tad bit further than I expected it to.

The conceptual artist On Kawara has 101 followers on twitter at the
time of this writing. I have only 20-something. But I am On Kawara on
twitter. Or rather, On Kawara on twitter is a Perl script that gets
automatically run once a day on a server in a cabinet in my living
room. I haven't done anything to publicize his activities on twitter.
All he does is announce, "I AM STILL ALIVE" once a day. He doesn't
follow anyone. Yet, somehow, it seeped out into the twitter community.
The "Perl Net::Twitter" client name should be a dead give away.

The interesting thing about this (and my original reason for launching
it) is that it blatantly negates the whole idea behind On Kawara's "I
AM STILL ALIVE" messages. Whereas those did indeed confirm that he was
still alive, this doesn't. It's an automated process that he doesn't
even control. Were he to die, he would continue to announce "I AM
STILL ALIVE", everday, on twitter. So it really does two things; by
falsely confirming that he is alive, it casts doubt on the issue but
it also keeps the notion of him actively announcing that he is alive,

So what may sound like a simple prank is actually pretty complex and
gets more complex the more you think about it.

Anyway, I've now released the On_Kawara twittering script as one of
the Microcodes at http://pallit.lhi.is/microcodes

This throws a new wrench into the works. The script is posted exactly
as it is, complete with the username and the password. I can't even
begin to imagine where that will go.

best r.
Pall Thayer

Pall Thayer

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