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

Bruno Vianna brunovianna.listas.0 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 25 09:31:20 CEST 2020

We did share a tiny room in Bergen for Pixelache, it was an excellent
event. I have probably been a lurker here at the list ever since. I'm
based in Helsinki now and I'm looking forward to attending next year's

Going back to your point:
"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 think there lies your (the artist's) choice of what level of
interpretation will offer and freedom of creation the viewer will
exercise. When the code is run, it will always be open for
interpretation, mechanic or human. Same with the score of a
performance, Sol Lewitt's instructions etc. The computer
interpretation is a different kind than human's, of course. It might
be easier to arrange it in a way that generates the same results,
maybe like two robots following the same set of movements. But your
code, most of the time, will give different outcomes to each one of us
viewers - different screen resolutions, display calibration,
environments. Unless the code produces another code, for instance text
(in the sense that two different Spanish editions of Borges will
supposedly contain the exact same text).

That is why I think your microcodes and stealthiscode are essentially
different, since stealthiscode will be interpreted by some machine and
microcodes, as Alan said,  are already recognized as a final form of

Then there is also the interpretation performed by neural networks,
where machine learning affords what I think is a different kind of
procedural interpretation. There is the code, there are final results
(GPT texts, GAN images) and something in the middle which is the
statistical model. But I digress :)

Best, Bruno

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 4:48 PM Pall Thayer <pallthay at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Bruno. Didn't you and I share a hotel room in Bergen, NO many years ago?
> I think I get your point. Yes, programming code is like a blueprint in a way. That blueprint then gets interpreted by a computer or software and then turns into an action. A movie or play script is also a blueprint but one that gets interpreted by humans. Obviously, a human "interpretation" of something is going to be a lot more flexible than a computer's interpretation of code. Therein lies the main difference between those two schematics. What I'm proposing is a bit of a hybrid. If I feel that my own (human) interpretation of a piece of code is going to make the outcome somehow better (or just different, if people prefer), then I'm going to do so from the perspective of a human who knows full well how the code will perform when interpreted by the computer. So it's still grounded in a more restrictive outcome than a movie or play script. If I allow myself too much freedom in my interpretation, then I might as well abandon the programming code part and we're basically back to 60s conceptualism. I'm looking for something similar but different.
> I do believe that the text of programming code can stand on its own as works of art and have pursued that angle for several years in my Microcodes (http://pallthayer.dyndns.org/microcodes/) and Object Oriented Art Code (http://pallthayer.dyndns.org/stealthiscodeart/). I see the ideas that I'm pitching here as my "logical next step".
> Best r.
> Pall
> On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 2:53 AM Bruno Vianna via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>> hi Pall
>> I don't know if I'm playing devil's advocate or standing for your
>> point, but it comes to my mind the idea of a blueprint, which is not
>> exclusive to code. Wouldn't a script for a movie, the  lines of a
>> play, be also forms of laying out a final shape? And these codes
>> (text) are also self-standing pieces of art? I could go even further
>> and think of the frames of a movie compared to the screened result in
>> a session.
>> In case, the argument is very interesting.
>> Bruno
>> On Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 7:13 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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> http://pallthayer.dyndns.org
> *****************************

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