Anne-Marie Schleiner on 16 Aug 2000 00:23:07 -0000

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<nettime> is a collection of texts and projects by Anne-Marie
Schleiner related to the hacker-like strategies of network art production,
open source modes of computer game development at both code and content
levels, game hacking and modifications, gamer culture, game avatar gender
construction, female skins and patches, and female gamer alliances. 

Some of the texts available for the first time on the site include an
expanded version of "Does Lara Croft wear fake polygons?", rewritten for
Leonardo, and "Parasitic Interventions: Game Patches and Hacker Art", an
article that includes discussion of many of the artworks presented in the
"Cracking the Maze: Game Plug-ins and Patches as Hacker Art" online

Urls to add to the url section are welcome. 


from "Parasitic Interventions: Game Patches and Hacker Art"(July 1999) :

"Like the hip-hop sampler or reggae dub mixer, the game patch artist
manipulates the prefab semiotics of the game engine, a kind of
"versioning" that reorganizes along both paradigmatic and syntagmatic
axeses.[17] Like "hactivist" Electronic Disturbance Theater's
attacks on government websites on behalf of the Zapatistas, game hacking
and distribution of game hacks online are art strategies that offer the
possibility for artists to participate in cultural intervention outside of
a closed art world sphere.[18]Patch art structurally couples itself in
symbiotic or parasitic relations to the host technocultural systems of the
industrial game engine and online game fan networks, an art form whose
tentacles reach outward into the fabric of technocultural subdomains with
the capacity for effecting the evolution of popular gaming culture. 

The process of software hacking, including game software, is a non-linear
multi-directional searching for loopholes and bugs through a meshwork of
code (similar to the process of debugging). Take for instance the
operational mode of a late 80's "phreaker".[19] The phreaker enters into
an alien digitized phone switcher system that she did not write. Without
fully understanding the mechanics of the switching program the phreaker
tweaks a chunk of code here, a chunk of code there until she effects a
change in the ontogenetic structure of the program. (Maybe she hooks up
the number for the Christian Coalition to a phone sex line, maybe she
embeds a tag in the code, a mark of her territory that later inadvertently
leads to a system wide shutdown.) Likewise, culture hacking can begin with
non-structured manipulation of an alien or semi-unknown cultural system
that effects a new system identity."

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