02.28.12

PAUSE: Are three lines of a Commodore 64 code enough to inspire poetry?

At Pace Digital Gallery this month, the new show Codings aims to show the computer as “an aesthetic, programmed device that computes on characters” on par with poetry. The curators explain:

A three-line version of this program appeared in original 1982 _Commodore 64 User’s Guide:_ 10 PRINT “{CLR/HOME}” / 20 PRINT CHR$(205.5 + RND(1)); / 40 GOTO 20. This is one of many BASIC short programs, for this and other computers, that have been entered by users seeking to puzzle their friends, to learn more about computing, and to see aesthetically pleasing output. The program, which produces its visual effect by using two characters in the PETSCII character set, is the topic of an MIT Press book by Nick Montfort, Casey Reas, and eight others that is to be published in Fall 2012 and is entitled _10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1); : GOTO 10_. The program is also the inspiration for the work by Reas in this show, _10 PRINT._

Founded in 1954, Commodore went bankrupt forty years later, but the memory of its work lives on. The show runs through March 30th and features the work of Nick Montfort, Casey Reas (who we interviewed at the New Museum last winter) and others.

-Jamin Warren

[via Pace]