Panel: Revolution of the Public Sphere
Computer software is not just the vehicle of production, it’s also the driver. lt shapes not only the way we perceive the machine but also the way we form representations, and in turn the way we perceive the world. The ‘universal’ machine can be infinitely redefined, it is raw material, given form and structure by the theory and language of programming. Because of its multiple manifestations the computer can be described, at any one time, as a pose in a state of flux. This ‘pose’ however, is, more often than not, shaped by programming teams, operating systems and application software whose development, for the most part, is in the hands of corporate, military and marketing concerns. Artists are often caught in the dual bind of expansion and enclosure, with the hardware and software manufacture of needs, arousing and satisfying new wants, creating a cycle of dependency. As the surface definitions of the calculating machine become more convincing, seductive and all pervasive, individual and collective agitation is necessary if antidotes to the enclosure of our new common land are to be found.
- Tessa Elliot (UK), University of the West of England, Bristol