Read_me, Run_me, Execute_me: Software and Its Discontents...
Inke Arns

Full Title: Read_me, Run_me, Execute_me: Software and Its Discontents: or It's the Performativity of Code, Stupid!

In the past two or so years the term generative art has become fashionable. It can be found in very different contexts, such as academic discourses, media art festivals, industrial design and architecture. Very often, the term is used —if not 100% synonymously for software art —as an equivalent for software art. Somehow generative art and software art are related to each other —but what exactly this relation is, is left mostly in the dark.
To shed some light on this connection between generative art and software art is thus one aim of this article. The other is to propose the notion of performativity of the code as one of the reasons for contemporary artists’ interest in using software as an artistic material. Performativity of the code in this case refers to its ability to act and perform in the sense of speech act theory.

This essay was written for Read_Me Software Art and Cultures conference and is published in read_me Software Art & Cultures Edition 2004 .

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keywords: generative-criticism-performative-code
category: text - software art related/history of software art
uploaded by o, 08 Feb 2005

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