Jeu de Code
As Nake notes in his 'Remix Aesthetics and Semiotic Animals' essay co-written with artist and theorist Mark Amerika, 'in the existentialist sense of the word, the computer is no tool, nor is it a medium per se. We only perceive of the computer as if it was a tool or a medium. With software's phantasmal capabilities in simulating processes, we may identify the computer as the machine of the as-if.' In 'Jeu de code', Amerika, in collaboration with Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath, creates a new work that demonstrates and articulates in a participatory and playful way, how interacting with media is creating a collage of existing knowledge, data, images and dreams - with other media and itself. Not in a planned or controlled process but in a spontaneous and chaotical one: People are pushed and dragged and driven, continuously and unstopable. They also share the moment with other people. In this particular work paint is splashed on letters, and text becomes legible through the paint, and illegible again. The text turns into a fabric of words and letters, a background and canvas for the participants' (digital, second) lifes. Through repeated interaction the text becomes a concrete material, only itself, no longer an abstract or discrete piece of information, but marks on a page (or spots of light in a projection). Until somebody starts over. The interactive artwork builds upon a confluence of digital/materiality signs and actions, and it simultaneously operationalizes and aesthetcizes the information behaviors that are part of it. Cermak-Sassenrath and Amerika attempt to put into practice what Nake has theorized all along, namely, that the computer can be perceived as serving three simultaneous functions: it is the machine of computability, the machine of interactivity, and the machine of performativity. Here, it also becomes the machine of play.
Shown at Frieder Nake. Licht ins Dunkel. 25x50 Jahre Computerkunst, 2013
Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath, Mark Amerika. Jeu de Code. Installation. Shown at Frieder Nake. Licht ins Dunkel. 25x50 Jahre Computerkunst. Galerie der HfK, Bremen, Dec 15-28, 2013.