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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Antoni Abad

Z is a freeware fly with variable behaviour patterns. Each fly is genetically unique and only lives when the PC it inhabits is on-line. Conceived as a virtual swarm, the flies are intended to multiply throughout the Internet by free exchange between users. Individuals can communicate through canal Z interface according to different criteria: time zone, on-line flies, community evolution graph, swarm genealogical tree, language, etc. Z users can manipulate the behaviour and morphology of individual flies at Z.lab, the genetic laboratory. The resulting mutants can then be exchanged through canal Z. The aim of Z is to create a distributed communication network that is independent of any central server. Each fly will become both server and client simultaneously. Soon Z users will be able to create their own networks.

Z is a long term project that has been in development since February 2001. The first betaversion of the fly was sent by email to 50 people on 13th March 2001. Flies were re-distributed by those early Z.users to new users, to reach a number of 1,120 individuals in September 2002. Updates of the software were periodically distributed to betatesters till the launching of Z 2.0 edition on 16th September 2002. Z 2.0 was presented on 16th September 2002 at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and at Le Fresnoy.