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PromiscuOS

[Mockup/design prototype March 2008]

Building on active free software components and xxxxx softwares, promiscuOS aims to provide an inspirational, promiscuous software platform for literary computing.

PromiscuOS is concerned with non-functional artistic play at socially-implied levels of code and production, favouring promiscuous, leaky code and data over security and division by function or task. The drive towards promiscuity [decadent computing] equally embraces and is inspired by deep-hypertextual systems such as Ted Nelson's literary machines and to a lesser degree existent softwares such as Hypercard. PromiscuOS aims to drive the development of an alternative inter-network.

As the title implies, PromiscuOS stresses active, linking, data-foraging play, a veritable connection machine erasing dualities of programmer and user, input and output and both extending and manipulating existing literary environments.

The promiscuOS platform can be characterised according to the following attributes and implications:

a) Networked and environmentally active self display. Self-generation of code and data rather than a flat response to input.

b) There is no (filesystem) hierarchy, and no model of secure computing. Distributed, collective pools (see leaks below) function as ephemeral abstractions. Self display code will exploit these features.

c) The ability to generate, disperse and run mobile code between machines with a supreme degree of transparency. Collaborative editing possibilities are encouraged within an advanced hypertextual model. This model proposes one promiscuOS interface structured across shared mindmaps or active diagrams embracing all media. Simple outlining, node-taking, hyperlinking and media annotation functions enrich the platorm.

d) Absolute pluggability - small applications can self-associate and plug themselves together within a Unix model or a la Pure Data. Such actions follow a distributed model, impacted by both local and remote environments.

e) Leaky streams of data [in relation also to pluggability] rather than static segregated files. We can imagine operations such as spraying, leaking across specified levels, and examinations of sedimented data. Filesystems become a material for forensic examination in the time domain. The links to version control are clear.

Methodology

PromiscuOS will be realised as a free software, open source project with development driven by xxxxx after consultation (with selected theorists and artists) and public discourse within a one day event in Berlin (funded by part of the commission) and a short series of workshops. PromiscuOS will build on the GNU/Linux platform, with particular reference to the GNU Emacs project [link] and related hypertext software such as org-mode. xxxxx is active within both of these free software, project-related communities. After initial development the project will be ported to embrace more platforms, with the potential to export hypertext structures to other coded structures (eg. HTML).

This approach encourages practical outcomes, impacting on the feasibility of the project. We are able to build and elaborate on proven components, including our own software, and the time to prototype and test ideas, and speculations is reduced, rendering development more fluid. In keeping with the aims of the project, the platform will bootstrap and build upon itself; a less than finite projection of promiscuous working and playing methodologies for the new coder.

CV link

xxxxx_cv_mar2008.html

Samples of work

0] Life coding:

The notion of life coding, opposed to live coding, is elaborated across a series of events and software in London, Norway and Germany. One example:

xxxxx_at_piksel2007_dossier

1] ap02 series:

A series of works (ap0201, ap0202) expanding the traditional environment of computation:

http://www.1010.co.uk/ap_r.html

2] PLENUM:

An investigation into durational, social software within the context of a 12 hour discussion event:

http://kop.kein.org/plenum/html/concept.html

[see also software ]

3] Scrying:

An open hardware project for artists encompassing radio and divination technologies:

http://scrying.org