Software art

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Software art refers to works of art where the creation of software, or concepts from software, play an important role; for example software applications which were created by artists and which were intended as artworks. Although video games are also software art, the term is often used to single out works that are non-interactive or don't fit the usual definition of a game.

Software art as an artistic discipline has attained growing attention since the late 1990s. It is closely related to Internet art since it often relies on the Internet, most notably the World Wide Web, for dissemination and critical discussion of the works. Browser art is an important subset of software art.

Since 2000, software art has become a genre worthy of critical speculation and merit. Art festivals such as FILE Electronic Language International Festival (São Paulo), Transmediale (Berlin), Prix Ars Electronica (Linz) and readme (Moskow, Helsinki, Aarhus, Dortmund) have devoted considerable attention to the medium and through this have helped to bring software art to a wider audience of theorists and academics.

[edit] Selection of artists and works

  • Amy Alexander performs with self-authored software art under the pseudonym of ubergeek. Her art makes reference to the nature of the software hacker and the potential creative role they play in society.
  • Thomas Briggs is an artist who uses methodologies of animation and scientific visualization to generate drawings of great complexity.
  • Carnivore, by the Radical Software Group, is an artistic parody of the wire tapping application of the same name (Carnivore (FBI)), created by the FBI. The artistic version is an application with server-client architecture; several artists have created client applications for this project.
  • Pall Thayer is an Icelandic artist that creates software art that uses elements of online-culture to create audio-visual art. Among his best known work is PANSE and On Everything.
  • Scott Draves is best known for creating the Electric Sheep in 1999, the Bomb visual-musical instrument in 1995, and the Fractal flame algorithm in 1992.
  • The London-based artist group I/O/D created the Web Stalker in 1998 - an alternative, simple browser which creates maps of websites instead of displaying separate pages.
  • Jaromil, author of various GNU/Linux applications, has published famous art pieces as this shell forkbomb featured across art venues and essays worldwide. He is also developing FreeJ, a vision mixer he is employing in theater and live performances.
  • Miltos Manetas and Bob Holmes are artists who create websites that are signed, exhibited and sold in galleries and Museums as autonomous artworks.
  • Netochka Nezvanova is the author of nebula.m81, an experimental web browser awarded at Transmediale 2001 in the category "artistic software". She is also the creator of the highly influential nato.0+55+3d software suite for live video manipulation.
  • Nio is an interactive audio project for the Web by Jim Andrews. The source code is downloadable and there are essays on both the programming techniques and the poetics of interactive audio for the Web. Nio is a little sequencer.
  • C.E.B. Reas writes both generative and interactive software to create kinetic screen-based drawings. Examples include Tissue, MicroImage, and Articulate. He has presented his work at Ars Electronica and other international festivals.
  • Alexei Shulgin is well known for this 386DX performance group, but is also credited with early software art-inspired creations.
  • Adrian Ward has won several awards for his Signwave Auto-Illustrator, a generative art graphic design application, which parodies Adobe Photoshop.
  • Z, (aka Tristan Zand), creator of opensource applications and online content management systems (e.g. bolinos , sqeleton )since the mid nineties, has been active in the creation of software/human hybrid improvisational works in music, photography, video and writing as the BassOMatic and linked BootyMachine group experiments.
  • ZNC browser is piece of software art by Peter Luining that translates HTML code (the code in which webpages are coded) into colors and sounds, thus making the process of how a browser functions transparent.
  • Goldberg Variations music: J.S.Bach and computer music transcription by Pietro Grossi (Soft TAUMUS synthesizer TAU2, IBM 370/168) Institutes of CNR CNUCE and IEI - Pisa, Italy 1980, an example of software art by Sergio Maltagliati.

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