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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathSoftware Art

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relationship is inverse; it deals "solely with the process that is triggered by the program. While computer art of the 1960s and 1970s regarded the processes inside computers only as methods and not as works in themselves, treated computers as 'black boxes', and kept computer processes veiled inside, present software projects thematise exactly these processes, make them transparent, and put them up for discussion." [25] — see the (somewhat polemic) Comparison of generative art and software art.

Performance of code vs. the fascination with the generative,

or: "Code has to do something even to do nothing, and it has to describe something even to describe nothing." [26] The current interest in software, according to my hypothesis, is not only attributable to a fascination with the generative aspect of software, that is, to its ability to (pro)create and generate, in a purely technical sense. Of interest to the authors of these projects is something that I would call the performativity of code–that is, its effectiveness in terms of speech act theory, which can be understood in


more ways than just as purely technical effectiveness–that is, not only its effectiveness in the context of a closed technical system, but its effect on the domains of aesthetics, politics, and society. In contrast to generative art, software art is more concerned with 'performance' than with 'competence', more interested in parole than langue [27] –in our context, this refers to the respective actualisations and the concrete realisations and consequences in terms, for example, of societal systems and not 'only' within abstract-technical rule systems. In the two examples above, the generative is highly political–specifically because changing existing texts covertly (in the case of insert_coin) and extracting copyrighted text from a Perl script (in the case of walser.php) is interesting, not in the context of technical systems, but rather in the context of the societal systems that are becoming increasingly dependent on these technical foundations. First, however, there is the fascination with the generative potency of the code: "Codes [are] individual alphabets in the literal sense of modern mathematics […], one-to-one and countable, i.e. using sequences of

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