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More on failure and abuse in the digital realm, edited from a previous comment thread:
paul: I guess my point is that finding new creative ways to use software is just kinda what computer art is. Every piece of decent computer art I can think of that makes use of existing software falls into there. How can you make interesting computer art and NOT push the limits of what software was intended to do? (maybe there's a good answer to this...)
tom: I would say 99.9% of computer use to do creative work is exactly as the programmers intended, and many people consider the result art without imagining abusing their tools. Think all those hundreds of MIDI versions of pop songs, all completely obedient to the "rules." Is it "bad"? Well, yeah, most of it, but it succeeds on its own terms. This depthCore site, I don't think involves abuse on any level. They call it digital abstraction, and a lot of it's cheesy and album cover-y, but you can pick and choose and find really involved and intricate passages. Yet none of it seems to be straying outside the bounds of the programming. All that POV raytracing stuff is another example. Also some cool things there--but it's not about abuse.
paul: well anyway, I really want to abuse vocaloid.
tom: That's one I'd present straight up. It'd be hard to improve on this for sheer oddness. Another lovely, non-abusive use of the digital medium: an abstract 3-D animation set to John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" by Michal Levy (takes about a minute to load on cable, longer on dialup; hat tip to Steve)