Open Source Softwares, Conceptual Writings (Minimal Art) and Printed Matters (Typography)

There are interesting similitude in “succession of actions” (algorithms) that we can find on the 3 subjects

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is a procedure (a finite set of well-defined instructions) for accomplishing some task which, given an initial state, will terminate in a defined end-state.

Informally, the concept of an algorithm is often illustrated by the example of a recipe, although many algorithms are much more complex; algorithms often have steps that repeat (iterate) or require decisions (such as logic or comparison).

The concept of an algorithm originated as a means of recording procedures for solving mathematical problems such as finding the common divisor of two numbers or multiplying two numbers. The concept was formalized in 1936 through Alan Turing’s Turing machines and Alonzo Church’s lambda calculus, which in turn formed the foundation of computer science.

Most algorithms can be implemented by computer programs.

The printed matter
Particularely by the use of Typography, which is a coded langage, and a succession of rules to set langage in a physical form, printed or not. Classical typography can be a strict ensemble of rules that determines the standardised settings of texts and books. For example, the set of rules for cutting words, between syllabes, between 2 successive consonnes, after at least 3 letters…

Typographic code is also determined by its support: The “Canon de Villard” allows harmonious divisions in any rectangle via geometric operation. (“Rules fixing the proportion of the books page and composition bloc”, from Books & Typography, Ian Tschichold)

Typography code is prominent
in the setting of content.
In litterature, Poetry is a field
which has specific representation codes:
the rimes, the alexandrin, the quatrain…

And the typographic code is used as an expressive element of poetry, such as in “Un coup de dés” of Mallarme then Broodthaers works, among others

,, ,
, ,,
”’ ‘ ” ‘
… … … …

Open Source Software

“Computer software (or simply software) is that part of a computer system that consists of encoded information”. Those applications are executed for specific tasks. A software is a serie of code to process an information.
From Turing conceptualisation : is it just following the instructions? Decomposition and formalisation of informations (with or without machine) is the basic concept of computers.

State of softwares can be determined by laws, which are codes as well. For example, Open Source softwares are ruled by a set of laws, that assure its freedom:
“According to Stallman and the FSF, “free” software licenses grant:
– the freedom to run the program for any purpose (called “freedom 0”)
– the freedom to study and modify the program (“freedom 1”)
– the freedom to copy the program so you can help your neighbor (“freedom 2”)
– the freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (“freedom 3″)

Freedoms 1 and 3 require source code access, because studying and modifying software without source code is extremely difficult and highly inefficient compared to modifying annotated source code.”

The system closes in itself. It has its independency by performing those rules. This set reminds works from conceptual art.

Conceptual Art

Conceptual art, sometimes called idea art, is art in which the ideas embodied by a piece are more central to the work than the means used to create it.
“Once you know about a work of mine you own it. There’s no way I can climb inside somebody’s head and remove it.” Laurence Wiener
It is sometimes (as in the work of Robert Barry, Yoko Ono, and Weiner) reduced to a set of written instructions describing a work, but stopping short of actually making it–emphasising that the idea is more important than the artifact.

sol lewitt

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