Karen Hanmer

Artists' Books & Installation

Gallery: Science & Technology

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Title: I Remember My First

I Remember My First

I Remember My First | 2003 | $100

Inkjet prints on green bar computer paper, stab binding through pin feed holes, pages scored near spine before sewing to improve opening.

8.75 x 7.5 x .5"

Edition of 100
Quotes from interviews with software engineers exploring how they became interested in working with computers and what they still find compelling about software, hardware and the act of 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.