With art, there are at least 2 faces, I think. One is the satisfaction of the artist, how the artist feels when working and when finished and how the artist released internal feelings and how the artist transformed extenral stimulus, how the artist used and referenced others' work (shoulders of giants) and of course how the artist used craft,skill,innovation to accomplish the work. Second face is how others perceive the art product, understand it, get stimulated by it, how does the art product sets our chemical factory in motion and causes us to strip naked, dance or copulate when is perceived by our hypothalamus. This has a time dimension and a cultural dimension: how does an art product be perceived by different cultures and at different eras?
I would like to set a few questions after Discipulus post regarding appreciation of art over time and whether art of one civilisation has any meaning to another. And how does programming, if is art, compares, with respect to these two metrics, with what most of us were taught art is.
Are programming's products timeless? Can they be appreciated the same over different eras?
Most other arts' products not only are timeless (big question mark here) but their appreciation increases with time (it seems to me). But a for-loop in BASIC printing "hello", is it not banal after a while?
Another question: can a program (or part of it, a clever hack) be understood by alien civilisations (if they exist?). Or at least understood better than human art? For example, space-capsule Voyager (Voyager_program) travels in space since 1977 with some human art products (a golden record - how banal that is btw) aimed for whatever aliens happen to cross its path.
Would sending a pictorial description of adding-with-carry be better understood by the little (better be!) neon-green man? Or a regular expression Graph? What about the tic-tac-toe lesson in War-Games? In the form of an algorithm I mean or a Graph. And what about showing the alien how we do recursion, surely a higher-order form of programming art?
A nightmare for me is thinking about when something I wrote does not compile any more because the compiler gone bust or the graphic's library is no longer around. I have some first programs in Borland C who are long obsoleted, I have lots and lots of ZX-Spectrum BASIC that can't even get it out of the tape. (I think choroba mentioned similar experience on cb). I have long dot-matrix printout of a dragon-dungeon game in csh but it is humanly impossible to retype. Surely a programmer is so disadvantaged over an artist in this respect. Though mind you those hipster generations can't even understand anymore what "easy rider", "homo faber", "dr strangelove", "
accatoneaccattone", "solaris", "stalker", "last tango in paris" was all about.
Edit: it was all about we are all diverging, like the fcuking universe is. Diverging. Me here, you there. Me ching, you chong. Unless we all ching, or chong. I still can't digest that my mental effort is long lost in oblivion, dust over the aeons. fcuked by non-existent gods. I beg to differ as long there is pulse.