For his first computer-based work, ‘Present: Download a Friendly Virus for Your Computer’ produced for Dia Art Foundation in 2000, David Claerbout offered visitors the choice of three flowers to download and install on their computer. An amaryllis, gerbera, or red rose would live on the visitor's computer for approximately one week, after which time it would remove itself, leaving a seed to send to others. Once it was implanted onto the user’s hard drive, the flower manifested the rhythms of a natural lifecycle. Not only was the flower’s duration unknown in advance, but since one could not speed forward nor go backward, one was forced to view the flower in the real-time progression of its natural cycle.

David Claerbout ©2024