CodeProfiles explores the space of code itself: the program reads itself into memory, prints itself on the page, then traces three points as they once moved through that space. The written code stacks like unkempt piles of books; three colored lines bind it all together tracing three different interpretations. A paper-white line traces the writer\'s insertion point. It is lightest in scribbles toward the middle-right, where the most recent code (the code that produced the print itself) was added. A warm amber line simulates the fixation point: where the human eye might jump as it reads; left to right, top to bottom. And cathode-ray-tube green traces the execution point of the program; showing what parts of the program the computer read constantly, overlapping to make wide swaths of light; or rarely, in a choppy web.
Comment by Scott Snibbe: Code Profiles is a self-reflexive look at code text. The program reads itself, closing the loop between reading, writing, and execution. The CODeDOC project reveals that programs are merely text files that are animated by the compiler, interpreter and computer. Most readers of code won\'t fully realize the multi-dimensional connections that the linear text actually represents. Code Profiles reveals the three ways of reading the code -- the linear read that most viewers will see; the developmental order -- how the writer breaks code up in their mind; and finally the execution order -- how the code actually runs. Even the code writer often has only a vague understanding of the actual execution order, so these three views are really completely distinct. Seeing all these views together is revealing for all parties -- writer, reader and the executor too -- the computer doesn\'t get to actually operate on its own code any more. Modern computers separate program and data memory, so that the "errors" or a program modifying itself can be avoided. Clever programmers in the early days actually wrote programs that were "self-aware" and selectively changed parts of the program memory itself to change the execution of the program on-the-fly. Brad Paley: I\'m glad that people appreciated the self-studying nature of my code, but wanted to say *why* it studies itself -- the point of the piece may have gotten lost. It wasn\'t written to be computer-clever, nor postmodern reflexive (though I admit I refer to those tropes). It reads itself because that was the clearest way I could address the commission\'s curatorial intent: to address process by focusing on code writing and reading, and almost incidentally execution. My piece simply tries to expose how my code (and Martin\'s, and Scott\'s) was written, read by others, and finally executed by the Computer.
Technology: Java Applet
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