Saturday, May 16, 2009

Programming as an artistic medium

What is art? Art is probably not a term, that I can successfully nail down. For the sake of this post I have choosen to use a portion of the definition from Wikipedia:
Wikipedia says:
Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. So what excludes something functional from being art. So from that I confabulate that what excludes a functional object from being art, is that the creator made something that was functional and had no intention of it, appealing to the senses or emotions of it's user.
When I did my earlier post on "Virus as art" some people disagreed that it was art. Now you may not agree that it is, but based on the definition we(I) have agreed to use in this post, it most likely is art, as the intention was there. I think a lot of people are sceptical of code as art, or the presentation it creates as art, are so because of the complexity of code, the complexity of the tool. At one point in John Maeda's book "Creative Code" (The inspiration for making this post) he writes about asking Morio Shinoda why he moved away from making kinetic sculptures, and he responed with "Because it was a bitch". I think code is not considered art, because.....well as far as making visual or sound art(see SuperCollider), it's a bitch.
It's really interestting to see the tools that have arisen because of this code is a bitch for art. Tools like, processing, Alice, vvvv, and scratch. Just because these langauges are focused on making "art", doesn't mean that other older languages can't be considered the same.
So some people like John Carmack, should be considered more than innovators but also as artists.

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