Marloes de Valk & Aymeric Mansoux / HELLO PROCES!
Marloes de Valk / Aymeric Mansoux
The Netherlands, 2008, installation
Installation shows a machine doing what it does best, deleting, copying and moving blocks of data. It consists solely of a computer and a printer. The computer functions as it usually does, as a black box theatre of processes. The only output comes through the printer, giving us clues about the activity inside, while in the background, the raw noise of the machine creates a sound scape, a sonification of this theatre of naive computation.
A file of 128 blocks is created. In this file, each block can be occupied by a small piece of code. Every piece of code has its own strategy. Some try to conquer as many blocks as possible, others simply target one specific piece of code or an unsuspecting neighbour. When the process is set in motion, all blocks are executed one after the other. This results in a battle between the file's inhabitants. After forty iterations, a fresh file is created with a new combination of code.
Each piece of code has a special ID. This ID is sent to the printer every time the block is loaded in which the code is residing. Each printed line represents the result of one battle cycle. 128 small graphical representations of code are printed. This process repeats 40 times, creating a map of abstract patterns depicting the changes that took place.
There is some duality in this theatre of naive and nonproductive computation. We like to think of processes as actors in a machine theatre, playing with anthropomorphism and metaphors to trigger the imagination. Each piece of code has a descriptive name such as copycat, eraserhead, destroyer, or swapmaster, and displays behaviour to match. But at the same time these programs are just mechanical low level operations, totally inhuman. In the end the computer "computes" and the printer "prints" as a debug device and leaves on paper the only trace of these ephemeral permutations.
An artist and musician, member of the GOTO10 collective. His main artistic and research interests revolve around online communities, software as a medium and the influence of FLOSS in the development and understanding of digital art. His most recent projects and collaborations include the 0xA band with Chun Lee, the digital artlife Metabiosis project with Marloes de Valk and the pure:dyne GNU/Linux live distribution for media artists. Aymeric is editor of the FLOSS+Art book, scheduled for release mid 2008, as well as Folly's Digital Artists' Handbook which was launched early 2008.
Marloes de Valk
A Dutch digital artist, currently based in the UK. She is a part of GOTO10, a collective of artists and programmers working in the field of digital art and Free/Libre Open Source Software. She studied Sound and Image at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, specializing in abstract compositional computer games, HCI and crashing computers. Her work consists of audiovisual performances and installations, investigating machine theater and narratives of digital processes. She is currently collaborating with French artist Aymeric Mansoux on Metabiosis, a project investigating the ups and downs of data packets living in a world of connected ecosystems. From August 2007 until January 2008 she was editor of the Digital Artists' Handbook and is currently working on the GOTO10 publication FLOSS+Art, to be published mid 2008.