Karen Hanmer

Artists' Books & Installation

Gallery: Science & Technology

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BEAUT.E(CODE) Computer Professionals Reflect on the Art in Software | 2002 | $40
Price includes USPS Priority Mail shipping within the United States when purchased throughavailable through Etsy

Text keypunched onto computer cards, “bound” with custom printed rubber band

3.25 x 7.25 x .5"

Open edition
This book documents interviews conducted with computer software developers to explore the aesthetic values in, and their fond feelings for, computer programming.


Created for the 2002 exhibition BEAUT.E(CODE). Statement below:

I am a visual artist. My husband is a software engineer.

For years I have listened to his conversations with colleagues about hardware and software, what is good or pleasing and what is not and why, what they find new and exciting or classic and exciting. I am able to sense, but am unable to experience the excitement they feel.

I wanted to find a point of entry into this world, and find a way to convey their excitement to other non-technical people.

I gathered information by conducting group interviews with and sending questionnaires to computer professionals to explore aesthetic values in the art of computer programming and how they are similar to (or different from) aesthetic values in art. Or more plainly, “what excites these guys?”

Three elements are combined to create the pieces in this show: quotes from the interviews which I thought best or most colorfully expressed these aesthetic values, representations of artifacts I remember fondly from my college days working in the machine room of the university’s computer center circa 1980, and my simplistic understanding of the basic inner workings of a computer.