[NetBehaviour] a new Microcode: Vito Acconci's 'Seedbed'

Pall Thayer pallthay at gmail.com
Fri Jul 3 16:38:15 CEST 2009

The most difficult part of conceptual art is sticking to your concept.


On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 2:20 PM, james morris<james at jwm-art.net> wrote:
> Hi Pall,
> I've got to admit that I've had trouble too, understanding your
> MicroCodes. Sometimes I think I get it, other times I read what you've
> written and think I've been misunderstanding.
> The formal interpretation of code is instinctive when I view it, so
> trying to read code as something else, to value my human interpretation
> almost cut off from the formal meaning is really quite difficult that it
> just does not happen.
> Consequently my response is (or can be) almost blind to a human response,
> and involves elaborating upon the code. I always want code to do more,
> for the computer's interpretation of it put into action, to be
> satisfying for the viewer. So I don't think you're being stubborn, as
> although the concept is quite simple, it can be difficult to hold in
> ones mind, so stubborn repetition is quite useful.
> james.
> On 2/7/2009, "Pall Thayer" <pallthay at gmail.com> wrote:
>>Hi Alan,
>>I'm probably just being overly stubborn to make a point. Of course the
>>idea of the "Seedbed" code is to play around with the dual meaning in
>>the line "touch $myself". And if I understand you correctly you're
>>simply pointing out the ways in which words and images evoke emotional
>>responses even though whatever mediates the words and/or images is
>>itself incapable of such emotional responses. This is just our way of
>>understanding things. We attempt, maybe even at a subconscious level,
>>to apply whatever is being mediated to our own selves (or someone
>>else's) to see how that affects us. But the interesting thing is that
>>whereas we usually see programming code as something to be interpreted
>>by a computer and then we interpret that interpretation, in this case
>>(and in fact this is the underlying concept of the Microcodes in
>>general) our interpretation of the code elicits a much stronger, more
>>meaningful response than an interpretation of the computer's
>>interpretation of the code. This is something I want people to
>>consider and be aware of, that's why I'm being so stubborn. I'm sure
>>there are people out there who experience some discomfort in reading
>>the "Seedbed" code. Some might even feel embarrassed, turned on,
>>ashamed or all of the above. If I didn't want people to feel this way
>>I wouldn't have associated it with "Seedbed". But I hope that they
>>will take the time to discover what the words as computer code really
>>mean and see the absurdity of it all.
>>best r.
> ....
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Pall Thayer

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