The Art of Misusing Technology

    Date03 May 2002
    CategoryHacks/Cracks
    3266
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Hacking has been described as a crime, a compulsion, an often troublesome end result of insatiable curiosity run amok. Rarely has anyone who is not a hacker attempted to portray the creation, exploration and subversion of technology as a valid and elegantly creative art form. . . . Hacking has been described as a crime, a compulsion, an often troublesome end result of insatiable curiosity run amok. Rarely has anyone who is not a hacker attempted to portray the creation, exploration and subversion of technology as a valid and elegantly creative art form. But Open_Source_Art_Hack, a new show opening Friday at Manhattan's New Museum of Contemporary Art, attempts to show how the act of hacking and the ethics of open-source development -- direct participation, deep investigation and access to information -- can be art.

    Each piece and performance features technology altered by an artist-geek with an activist attitude, something that the curators of the show refer to as "hacking as an extreme art practice."

    "Originally the word 'hacker,' as coined at MIT in the 1960s, simply connoted a computer virtuoso," said Jenny Marketou, a new media artist and co-curator of Art_Hack. "Now hacking means reappropriating, reforming and regenerating not only systems and processes but also culture."

    Art created with open-source ethics in mind allows artists to become providers of more than pretty pictures. They can produce functional tools that they and others can then use to create new art forms, said museum director Anne Barlow.

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