“a weapon to hurl against the membrane of hermetic reality and consensual oppression”

TC: You’ve said that you were mentored by early net artists but chose not to engage in coding or the network architecture, which was part of their practice, how come?

JD: I speak a little ‘MySpace pidgin’ html and I can read it pretty good. I don’t code mostly because it feels very difficult, and I’m an immediatist. My practice has been shaped by what was available: the time, space and money I had to work with. It’s for the same reason that I don’t work with bronze or clay; I don’t have a foundry, you know? It’s also why my own body shows up so much in the work – it’s a powerful technology I have at my disposal, for ‘free’. I don’t have to ask permission or rent out a space. If I started coding I’m sure I’d get into it – there’s a great poetry in it – but I don’t want the complexity of the process to become the product (of my art). Art about technology often ends up making both art and technology look really dated and capricious within a year or two. Great big wow, great big innovation award at Arts Electronica or somewhere, and next year it’s an app on everyone’s smartphone and nobody gives a shit. Plus, this nerdist or generational elitism – we’re-the-only-ones-who-know-how-to-use-this-stuff-ism – isn’t interesting to me. I’m interested in the human condition, as it changes with the times, and/or abides despite everything.

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