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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathSoftware Art

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order to become visible [55] , postoptical IT structures must also be removed of their transparency. In communications networks, similarly, the structures of economic, political, societal power distribution must be made opaque and thus visible. Ultimately, it is a question of returning the computer science-based definition of transparency (that is, the transparency of the interface: information hiding) to its original meaning–clearness and controllability through visibility. [56]

Codeworks: "M @ z k ! n 3 n . k u n z t . m2cht . fr3!"

Works in the area of software art, therefore, focus on the code itself, even if this is not always explicitly revealed or emphasised. Software art draws attention to the aesthetic and political subtexts of ostensibly neutral technical command sequences. That which is surely the "most radical understanding of computer code as artistic material" [57] can be seen in the so-called 'codeworks' [58] and their artistic (literary) examination of program code. Codeworks use formal ASCII instruction code and its aesthetics without referring back to the surfaces and multimedia graphical


user interfaces it creates. Works by Graham Harwood, Netochka Nezvanova, and mez [59] introduced in this context bring to mind the existence of a 'postoptical unconscious' that is usually hidden by the graphical interface. The Australian net artist "mez" [60] (Mary-Anne Breeze) and the anonymous net identity Netochka Nezvanova (also known under the pseudonyms nn, antiorp and Integer) have been producing for some time in addition to hypertext works and software that allows real-time manipulation of video, also text works that they usually send to mailing lists such as Nettime, Spectre, Rhizome, 7-11 or Syndicate in the form of simple e-mails. Except for attachments and the increasing use of HTML texts, e-mail as a text medium allows the use of ASCII text only and is therefore (technologically) restricted. mez and antiorp, however, have both developed their own languages and styles of writing: mez calls her style 'M[ez]ang.elle' while Netochka Nezvanova/Integer refers to it as 'Kroperom' or 'KROP3ROM|A9FF'. Both deal with the artistic appropriation of program code. Those not familiar with programming languages cannot recognise much more than illegible noise in this contemporary form of mail art, which gives the impression of a file

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