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24


Freeze Frame: Audio, Aesthetics, Sampling, and Contemporary Multimedia
Ken Jordan and Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid

When computers communicate over a network, they do so through sound. Before information can be sent over wires run between computers, it must first be translated into tones. The composer Luke Dubois, of Columbia University's electronic music department, has described the static you hear when a modem connects as a hyper-accelerated Morse Code, a billion dots and dashes sung each second, too fast for the human ear to discern. This has been true since the dawn of networked computing. When the first two nodes of the Internet, at UCLA and Stanford, were brought online in 1969, Charlie Kline at UCLA famously initiated the connection by typing "login."


 

Imagination and consumer culture
Rana Dasgupta

Consumption, and the lifestyle it necessitates, has become the number one social duty. There are penalties for those who wish to live other lives, penalties that are not only financial and legal, but also social. The delight that consumer culture takes in all that is forbidden elsewhere - "Imagine, children, a place where men and women may not even look at each other" - is a diversion from the fact that here such traditional regimes of prohibition have been replaced by new ones that are less brutal but also more profound, for they do not deny our libido but rather harness it for other ends. This profound experience of consumer culture, this exhilarating and also draining experience, is one that seems to have the effect of evacuating the reality from everything that happens outside it.


 

Report from ISEA 2002
Jonah Brucker-Cohen

As art and technology conferences mature, greater expectations on simplistic input and output seem to be prevalent. Gone are the days when interactive or digital art can be justified with theory and art jargon if the interactive experience fails to be compelling. Especially when exhibited, audiences seem less inclined to spend time with digital projects if their own personal frustration with computers encroaches on the artistic intention. Maybe we don't want to be reminded that we are interacting with computers at all. By emphasizing natural and human-centered interfaces, many of the projects presented at ISEA 2002 were getting closer to the ubiquitous personal interactions we take for granted in everyday life.


 

Concepts, Notations, Software, Art
Florian Cramer

If software art could be generally defined as an art of which the material is formal instruction code, and/or which addresses cultural concepts of software, then each of their positions sides with exactly one of the two aspects. If Software Art would be reduced to only the first, one would risk ending up a with a neo-classicist understanding of software art as beautiful and elegant code along the lines of Knuth and Levy. Reduced on the other hand to only the cultural aspect, Software Art could end up being a critical footnote to Microsoft desktop computing, potentially overlooking its speculative potential at formal experimentation. Formal reflections of software are, like in this text, inevitable if one considers common-sense notions of software a problem rather than a point of departure; histories of instruction codes in art and investigations into the relationship of software, text and language still remain to be written.


 

Open Source Intelligence
Felix Stalder, Jesse Hirsh

The Open Source movement has established over the last decade a new collaborative approach, uniquely adapted to the Internet, to developing high-quality informational products. Initially, its exclusive application was the development of software (GNU/Linux and Apache are among the most prominent projects), but increasingly we can observe this collaborative approach being applied to areas beyond the coding of software. One such area is the collaborative gathering and analysis of information, a practice we term "Open Source Intelligence". In this article, we use three case studies - the nettime mailing list, the Wikipedia project and the NoLogo Web site - to show some the breadth of contexts and analyze the variety of socio-technical approaches that make up this emerging phenomenon.



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