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culture, with invited guests who had written texts, done mostly online art projects or produced or curated shows which weren't necessarily mainstream, or high profile, but of importance.» The diversity of topics and the excellent choice of invited writers make Empyre the most interesting list for (at the very least) getting an impression of the state of things in new media art practices in all its varieties at the moment.

Software: Layering media, portable media spaces and media as metaphor

It can be argued that the electronic media space transcends its purely technical structures through its influence on (non-technological) cultures. Software is code that can make a machine do something, but in essence it is a language with meaning that is more influential then the language we use to communicate with each other. It is a language that can make something happen, but only during the time it is actually used. This does not mean that this language is dead when it is not in use; it is just dormant. It seems that this language is also not dependent on a particular environment, such as a specific type of computer or operating system. Software can be almost independent of the hardware it runs on, and it also seems to


transcend the cultures it springs from through its immaterial nature. In short, software seems to be somewhat a space of its own. Another dimension, if you will.

Through the development of artist software [30] the new public domain has been adorned with an art practice that is only partly visible and physical, but which has the power to execute, act, and let us act. Artist software is a very exciting terrain theoretically, since it spans such a wide array of possible actions and purposes that it offers great creative challenges, which lie within modern and pre-modern traditions at the same time. It makes us experience the modern creative genius of the artist or artists while we have at the same time entered their workshops. Through artist software we enter the artist’s practice almost literally, yet at the same time this software is part of our intimate, private sphere and a larger techno-cultural context. All software shares these traits, but artist software takes us into the unusual, the experimental, and the relatively open space of art.

The reason I categorize software art as the third specific art practice of the public domain 2.0 is that

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