Barbara Lattanzi on 15 Jan 2001 19:03:20 -0000

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Re: <nettime> Code as (literary) text

Greetings to Soeren Pold.

I just read your message to Nettime.  I then also read the English version
of your dissertation abstract at your website, especially section 4
("Writing the Scripted Space") which I found extremely interesting.

Unfortunately I am not directly tied into any larger movement of Open
Source activism.  But my own work, incorporating code writing to a high
degree, makes me very aware of the issues that you outline in the
dissertation abstract and in your message to Nettime.

It occurs to me that this sensibility and cultural politics is tied to the
subcultural genre of computer game patches.  As you write, "literary,
absurd, hacker-humour still can lead the codes of media reality astray".  
There is an archived issue of the Switch journal on-line which deals with
game patches as art form.

I am also interested in interactivity as the performance of code.  This
entails the construction of software "engines" (versus simple visual or
audio display instructions), where the code imparts "behaviors" to the
audio and visual output. Such "behaviors" are dependent partly on the
input of the viewer-interactor, but also dependent on internal
(non-visible, non-audible) "communication" between software objects that
is also occuring in a dynamic, generative way, affecting the totality of
the work.

To make that internal machine (virtual objects) communication available,
to open source it, is a function of the invention of cultural forms.  The
work of Vuk Cosic is relevant here, I think.

Perhaps jazz (if not making "ice cream for everyone"... thank you Simon
Pope, et. al.) is a worthwhile analogy, for the way its forms resonantly
textualize their sound and open source their structures..  not
polemically, but through example?

best regards,

Barbara Lattanzi

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