Art that Dies

During the panel discussion for the closing reception of >get >put at little berlin, the panelists circled around the idea of art that dies. This was in reference to the piece I contributed to the exhibition titled "Lo and Behold, I am become as a God." A question was posed, what will happen to my piece when all the sentences from the book Flatland have been recorded?

Technically, the software will catastrophically fail. It will throw a null pointer exception because the software contains an array of 1318 sentences. When that last sentence is finally recorded, the software I wrote will attempt to retrieve sentence 1319, but it won't be able to find it. Instead, the system will throw a null pointer exception. A null pointer exception is just a fancy way of saying that sentence 1319 doesn't exist.

"Lo and Behold, I am become as a God" has a lifespan, in some strange sense... It will exist for 1318 sentences, but it will then crash. The exact time frame for when the piece will die is not set in stone, but is determined by how many people interact with the piece. It's art that grows and matures based upon its interaction with people. This reminds me of the lifespan of a person and the proverb about the candle that burns brightest burns half as long... In other words, the more people that interact with the art, the quicker the retelling of Abbott's Flatland, the sooner the piece will stop functioning. All that will be left are the pieces of interaction "Lo and Behold, I am become as a God" has had with all the participants. It reminds me of a human life and the remnants of our interactions is one form of how we'll be remembered. In this case, the remnants of this piece will continue to exist on YouTube.

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