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6. Artistic Approaches to the Computer

The interaction between human and software via intermediaries is a crucial issue when examining the artist’s relation to the computer. These physical and digital interfaces enable the artist to work on the visual appearance of data. Yet because this digital image is always at one remove from the artist’s physical existence, they can never work in this medium as they would on a physical material.

The computer artist, operating at one remove, instructs the computer via gestures and the keyboard. His plans are executed by the computer in a semi-autonomous manner, with the machine taking care of the laborious calculations and descriptions of the image. The artist surveys the results on the screen and then modifies them further, taking into account any unforeseen variations or changes that emerged from the computer process.