Abstract art after Courbet. Wonderful.
Mini-Explor was a minimal, Fortran-based version of the language from the first half of the 1970s. It’s described in an old SIGGRAPH that I downloaded a PDF of from the ACM. I’m writing a version using GNU Fortran. Here’s where I’ve got to:
Why am I doing this? It would be amusing to have a GNU Explor. And it would fight bitrot for old Explor programs. But the main reason is that it’s a learning experience like copying an old drawing or painting. I’m gaining understanding of how people saw Computer Art thirty years ago, feeling my way into that way of seeing and and that way of thinking about art. It’s a fascinating experience. The things a programming language allows you to do are the things you will prefer to do when you make work. Explor is a world of drawing pattern, copying, flipping, inverting and filtering, not of smooth curves, colour, scaling, rotating or “noise”.
Yes, selling glossy magazines and fat books that eschew empowering analysis of economic and class relations in favour of arguing over what colour the curtain should be are not really changing the face of capitalism all that much. Or at all.
The first place that I saw AdBusters and No Logo was the graphic design bookshop on Tottenham Court Road. The prosecution rests, or would if only it wasn’t actually doing something about its own production rather than just complaining about others’ consumption.
This is something of a mother lode for the history and theory of computer art.
The rumour grapevine has it that Apple will allow the next version of “Garage band” to publish tracks via iTMS. It would be great if they would let you CC-license work to be sold. There are already CC-licensed music repositories (opsound) and record labels (loca, opsound). If iTunes allowed you to search iTMS by CC license type and metadata, that would take it even further.
Since Apple really don’t really make any money on iTMS sales, they should allow CC-licensed work to be sold. Indeed they should encourage it, as it will drive sales of garageband and iPods, which is the whole point of iTMS.
iTMS, garage Band and iTunes could provide a user-friendly GUI for buying, creating, hosting and listening to CC-licensed content, searchable and manageable by CC metadata. Since iTMS is a legal fig-leaf for selling iPods, it doesn’t matter what kind of content iTMS sells as long as it doesn’t upset the record labels. CC-licensed content is still copyrighted and doesn’t challenge anyone’s rights, so how could they object? 😉
The only problem is iTMS’s DRM, which breaks the CC licenses. Whether Apple or the record labels would accept that artists who license their work CC are within their rights to request no DRM is another matter entirely.
Let’s not divide culture up into little content ghettos around strangely similar yet strangely incompatible licenses.