[NetBehaviour] Some things I've been thinking about lately

Pall Thayer pallthay at gmail.com
Tue Sep 22 19:39:40 CEST 2020

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the input. I did a search for 'abacus art' and some interesting
stuff came up.

It's interesting to think about the pixel as having potential, especially
when that potential is failure. And, I guess that's really what I'm
considering. That is, creating pieces that don't work in their "natural"
environment, the browser. For instance, if I create a web page that uses
javascript to draw a blue line on a blue background, the line isn't going
to be visible. It fails to produce the work in a compelling way because my
compositional considerations (the dynamics between the line and the
background) are lost. But if I "interpret" that code in wood and glue a
block of blue wood onto a blue panel, the line will be visible. It
strengthens the composition. So, it could be argued that the environment
that is intended to interpret that code fails while the same interpretation
in a physical material produces a completely different and possibly better

On Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 12:39 PM Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

> It's interesting when the two come together; I'm thinking of work I've
> done (and I'm sure others have) with abacus/abaci? - they're an odd mixture
> (today) of digital and analog of course, and when I was teaching (= allowed
> to teach), I used them to develop the idea of potential wells, errors, and
> so forth. The movement of a bead could be considered the change of a pixel,
> particularly in the 1 position.
> I hope it's possible to develop the idea of the physical somehow - within
> the browser or other active digital environment, the pixel is always
> already potential; I keep thinking of things like a lead cube on a matrix
> that's heated so maybe in a century it falls off its support...
> fascinating, Alan
> On Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 12:12 PM Pall Thayer via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>> As some on this list know, for many years, I've been pushing the notion
>> that programming code should be viewed as an artistic medium when it's used
>> to create art. The artist molds it into shape, as they would with a lump of
>> clay, until it takes its final form. When I've discussed these ideas, I've
>> always gotten a lot of pushback. People will say that programming code is a
>> tool, like a paintbrush, not the medium, like paint. I don't agree. This
>> notion has piqued my interest again in the wake of a rising trend where
>> artists are creating graphic images by only using HTML/CSS (e.g.
>> https://a.singlediv.com/ , https://diana-adrianne.com/purecss-francine/
>> ).
>> The problem with computer programmed art, however, is that it requires a
>> computer. In my mind, there really hasn't been any justifiable reason to
>> display computer programmed art on anything other than a computer... unless
>> it adds something significant to the work. And this is something
>> interesting that has recently occurred to me. I came up with this really
>> simply piece:
>> http://pallthayer.dyndns.org/notApixel/
>> And have decided that this piece, although based entirely on computer
>> programming code, will work better when divorced from the computer and the
>> browser's interpretation of the code. On my 4k screen, it's practically
>> impossible to see the red pixel in the center. If I remove the work from
>> the environment that interprets the code, I'm free to determine the size of
>> a single pixel:
>> http://pallthayer.dyndns.org/notApixel/notApixel.png
>> And I could choose to produce that piece in any physical material I want.
>> It could be a block of wood glued to a panel of wood. What determines the
>> size of a pixel of wood? What determines the result of a hexadecimal color
>> code when it's been removed from the computer? If the code is to be
>> interpreted in wood, what does #f00 mean?
>> My main point is that with the example shown above, the piece can be made
>> to work better at a conceptual level than it would if it were not removed
>> from the browser environment.
>> I'd love to hear other people's ideas on this. I did just write this all
>> off the top of my head, so if I'm rambling and things don't make sense,
>> just ask and I'll do my best to clarify.
>> Pall Thayer
>> --
>> *****************************
>> Pall Thayer
>> artist
>> http://pallthayer.dyndns.org
>> *****************************
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Pall Thayer
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