New Reviews on Furtherfield: Microcodes by Pall Thayer and (sans femme et sans aviateur) by Jorn Ebner

Microcodes by Pall Thayer.
Review by Rob Myers.

Pall Thayer’s Microcodes are short code art pieces written in Perl and presented on a website for viewers to read, download, and execute. Each code piece encapsulates tasks performed by artworks such as portraiture or memento mori. They follow on from Thayer’s earlier “”, which allegorized life, death and being using running Perl code. The program listings are presented on a modern, neutrally styled, website for download and execution. The code is licensed under the GNU GPL version 3 (or later), so everyone is free to use, study, modify and redistribute it. The use of the GPL should be a given for code art, but far too many artists are happy to take the freedom that they are given by other hackers and not pass it on. Thayer deserves credit for doing the right thing.

You don’t need to be able to program to appreciate or add to it. It can be taken and modified as an aesthetic as well as executable resource. Its framing as code is clear, but its presentation on a social site and its licensing under the GPL leave its use by other artists, whether programmers or not, open. It frustrates those of us who hoped to use code to draw a line in the sand by using code effectively as a social product and resource.

(sans femme et sans aviateur) by Jorn Ebner.
Review by Rob Myers.

Jorn Ebner’s “(sans femme et sans aviateur)” is an atmospheric time-based multi-window web-browser image work that presents an evocative exploration of contemporary Paris. It consists of four series of pop-up browser web windows containing image slide shows which are programmatically arranged in turn on the desktop. The content of each window is static but animated by blurring or scrolling. The frames of the windows are also animated, being opened, closed and placed. Window choreography in net art has a long history, but there’s something subtle and satisfyingly compositional about Ebner’s windows. They are part of the flow of the story, or absence of story.

The build-up of windows on the desktop resembles the way that windows accumulate during the average computer user’s working day, only arranged with more intent and precision. Instead of word processor and spreadsheets or web pages and emails the windows present what looks as if it should be a narrative told using photographs of the streets, alleys and parks of contemporary Paris.


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