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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathComputer Art

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programming of images as being something applied is clear. Switching and reactive systems are complex, as Krueger’s «Videoplace» example should have shown. The role of the computer there is completely different, even if it is used to produce images in real time. «Forkbomb» should have shown how computer code can be used as an object of investigation. Although the pressure of the mechanical to achieve precision always carries with it the restriction of the possibilities of expression as a requirement for its functioning, it is in principle possible that the code, under certain circumstances determined by comments, variables or by the use of other solution methods, can be active in numerous ways. In the end, Adrian Ward points to an entire range of phenomena that today are bound up with the culture surrounding the computer. He places these in an artistic subversive context that he himself has created, in a way that has been unique until now, in order to create a tool out of his work. With this, the circumstances of reception change dramatically. Although Nees could still deal with the ‹contemplative observer,› this has changed already for Kueger because his observer has space-image


experiences and is prompted to undertake different behaviors in different situations of human-machine interaction. To be sure, the «Forkbomb» provides an extremely symbolic output as a ‹result,› consisting of a changing sequence of zeros and ones that rather blatantly refer to the mathematical placeholders for the two possible states of the universal machine. However, the aesthetic limits are called into question: the script can be changed and the source code is supplied along with it. It can be put into any context whatever and applied under different operating systems. This transparency permits the user-recipient direct access to artistic material. Besides being an implicit and quasi-real machine parody, the work also stands for a culture of free software, which is also indirectly called for by Ward with his Auto-Illustrator. This software also outlines the consequences of excluding the user, who is incapacitated legally, systemically and practically. The works he produces do not belong to him; nor is he able to see how all the processes work, and, because of the random generators, he has to give up control over the software. In all three phases, the generative factor,

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