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Biennale.py
Virus.
2001
0100101110101101.org

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Conceived and arranged as an invitation to the 49th Venice Biennale, Biennale.py is a work of art that doubles as an active computer virus that endlessly reproduces its source code, the text that determines and programs its actions. The virus was made public and spread on opening day for the Pavilion of the Republic of Slovenia, where the code of Biennale.py could be read and its effects seen on a infected computer. Thousands of shirts were given out with the code written on them, so it was spread not only through the machines, but also through humans, like biological viruses.
Artists used the hysteria generated by computer viruses and attempted to have their actions set a precedent for future viruses to attain artistic status. The virus was totally harmless and used outdated viral technology, so providing Symantec with information on how to deactivate the virus, thus resulting in an alert being issued, was no more than a publicity stunt. As for the ironies and contradictions involving the art and market establishments, remember that Microsoft sponsored the Biennale and therefore the virus, and that for 1500 dollars you could have taken home an infected CD-ROM. Which leads to an even bigger contradiction if we consider the fact that collecting those CD-ROMs as unique specimens is contrary to viral logic. The more a virus reproduces and spread, the more regarded it will be.
Keywords: obra mercado difusión bits virulencia efímero bienal cosificación
 

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