Cold + Bold

A great presentation by Jonathan Harris on his work as an artist-programmer and his battle between life and code.
Here’s a piece of a journal entry he wrote shortly after his MoMA show, I Want You To Want Me :

I have to live to work. Thats what Hemingway used to say. His work was to write boldly. So he had to live boldly first to get good material. These days my work is also to write, but to write code, not words. To write good code, it’s often best not to live life and certainly not to live life boldly because living life boldly requires energy and empathy and to write good code you need to save those things for your program and not waste them on people. This kind of strategy makes your code bold, but your life cold.

It’s weird – the more time I spend with computers the more I feel they’re exerting some kind of hold over me. Like it’s me serving them and not the other way around. When I’m deep into my program like I am now I feel like a totally different person than I am on the road. In fact, I frequently don’t feel like a person at all but some organic operating proxy to type the necessary instructions. I lie on my bed in the afternoon and look at the wall and it’s hard to know exactly what I’m feeling because my mind is entirely inside the machine.

via Minimal Mac