Continuing on the subject of whether one can truly abuse digital equipment, John Parker, who makes art or experimental electro and has a very painterly approach to sound, had this comment:
A programmer for a digital instrument has to make a series of solutions to particular tasks. No matter how comprehensive the tasks, there will always be phenomena that the digital instrument makes that comes from leftfield, that was unintended, that is a 'crash'. What else could be expected from something that is made by an imperfect human being.Drx also had a follow up comment on the failure issue:
I like your comment on failing computers. During the first shows of Bodenstandig 2000 our computers constantly crashed. The audience *always* thought this is part of the show, while we were sweating on stage to bring them back up running. For a big internet project i once did, which is changing everything you see on the web -- up to the point that the medium becomes unusable -- an estimated 99% of all users that were tested without knowing it thought that this is just the normal web.
I couldn't care less how anybody feels about hacking old software but I'm wondering whether the problematic of "abuse" more generally is worth bringing up here and now. E.g., is it "abuse" to destroy yourself with drugs or steroids or is that just following a free choice to explore alternative modalities or reach new performance levels? I can't help jumping to the issue of what to make of the irrevocably fascist connotations of the name "Bodenstandig." To what extent are these cats under the sway of some fucked up shit underneath all that (I presume) irony? To what extent is the attitude towards hacking part and parcel of a more general view that "everything is permissible?"
These aren't questions--they're proclamations. If you aren't interested in the topic, please don't just rail.