At once nearly cloistral in its impersonal sparseness, a black fix-width typeface against a white background, revealing nothing of the author's thoughts or dreams, animated by a nearly-trivial algorithm and on the other hand baroque in the complexity of what is in the text file, ASCII art, various computer outputs, garbled poems, mangled transmissions, and random text/number strings that suggest a deviant psychology, this minimal "performance" contains just enough life to bring us back to the earliest fascinations with computer sentience. For what little the program throws up against our "reading," it is just enough to remind us of the Other that is the computer algorithm.
Author description: It's a live writing performance over the net combining 1) keyboard writing, 2) machinated, algorithmic writing, and 3) feeds from the processes surrounding the writing (like system monitoring, net connection monitoring, ftp log, etc). All in realtime and plaintext. It was performed live at the BIOS symposium, Center for Literary Computing, West Virginia University, September 2006, with a unix ytalk session as a sideshow. The static version shown here is based on the exhibition "e and eye - art and poetry between the electronic and the visual" at Tate Modern, London, October 2006. It's part of a series of work called "protocol performances". 'Protocol' is meant both as a lower level set of rules of the format of communication, and as statements reporting observations and experiences in the most fundamental terms without interpretation, relating it to phenomenological 'noemata' - thought objects, and thus identifying a data stream with a stream of consciousness. 'Performance' is meant both as a data protocol's physical performance as much as its play on the meaning as an artist-centric execution of work. A later version, called "chyphertext performance", is more interactive, allowing users to write directly into the live execution, making it more of a decentralized 'happening'.
Previous publication: Monday 16 October 2006, 18:3020:00 @ Tate Modern Museum in London as part of "e and eye - art and poetry between the electronic and the visual" in the Poetry and Dream wing.
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