Florian Cramer on 24 Feb 2001 14:36:41 -0000

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software art vs. net art, was: Re: <nettime> net art history (digest)

> Pit Schultz:
> > about the past. of course one can try to overwrite history, by inventing
> > a genre of 'artistic software' and neglect that groups like jodi or iod
> > for example started a whole "do it yourself - school" of understanding
> > code and the visual layers plus its social context as one thing,
> > tactically including bits of programming language. an approach now
> > very viral on the microsound levels of electronic music.

Hi Pit,

in my opinion, it's the other way round - that the genre 'artistic
software'/'software art' was invented to _honor_ the code art of
Jodi, I/O/D and others. 'Software art' does not overwrite the history of
net.art, it just adds one more perspective from which digital art can be

When we describe jodi.org or I/O/D's Web Stalker as net.art, we put it in a
particular context of a networked discourse we all know very well (and which
includes this mailing list). To say that they are also great pieces of
software art doesn't rule this out, but allows to draw new connections _in
addition_ to the previously mentioned; connections to, say, 2600-style
computer hacking, 1950/60s computer-generated concrete poetry, to artistic
computer viruses like the 1988 MacMag virus, sourcecode poetry (which
started as early as 1974), to pre-Web experimental HyperCard stacks, or to
Ade Ward's "Signwave Illustrator" <http://www.signwave.co.uk> (which, as an
offline standalone user application, clearly is not a piece of net art).

The category "software art" was created for transmediale.01 to embrace a
whole range of digital art which simply doesn't fit into "net art", although
both terms are not mutually exclusive. Please think of it as an extension,
not as revisionism.


(member of the transmediale.01 artistic software jury)

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