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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathComputer Art
AutoIllustrator (Ward, Adrian), 2002

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context of programming, could be chosen arbitrarily, and which forms the anchor point for the ‹goto› instruction. It does, however, seem that the relationship of three semantically charged symbols, relative to the formal arrangement of the code, is rather arbitrary. The probability that there is then a subtext behind what is explicitly stated is small.

2. Adrian Ward: «Auto-Illustrator»

A completely different approach is adopted by Adrian Ward, who has written support programs for products from the software maker Adobe, whose name immediately brings to mind completely conventional software for the construction and revision of pictures and drawings. «Autoshop» and «AutoIllustrator» have been released by a company called Signwave. The prefix ‹Auto› already betrays the fact that the user is partially incapacitated. Ward’s programs have been modeled on Adobe’s standard image manipulation program Photoshop, and the vector graphics program «Illustrator,» respectively. Both programs show how the tools that are employed control the appearance of any possible image that can


be constructed. Being different from the satirized software, both offer functionalities that influence usage. As a result, the user gets the feeling that he is losing the possibility of control—the very feature that large software companies used to attract customers. By going beyond the merely satirical, the programs reveal—and exceed—the way that manufacturers of proprietary software conduct themselves. The user is spoon-fed with the usual built-in, attention-grabbing mechanisms: for every update, an Internet connection is opened. Users who do not wish to register are regularly faced with the request to enter a serial number (see Fig. 8-10). On the other hand, in order to freely navigate the programs, registered users have to enter a yard-long chain of characters. Yet even before any type of work can begin with «Auto-Illustrator,» the user is forced to enter into an end-user licensing agreement. While this is normally a rather complicated undertaking because of the nature of the ‹license› text variety, and one that can hardly be understood in its entirety by those without legal training, [68] Ward provides the user with something to read that deserves attention. In this text, which is a contract between

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