Computer Skills

about notes images Vol.1 Vol.2

In December of 2006, I downloaded a torrent (an archive of files distributed by peer-to-peer software) called "O'Reilly Ebook Collection" from a file-sharing site, with no intention of using it.

The archive contained 356 digital books in a variety of formats, all centered around computer programming or computer technology. A few months after downloading the archive, I started reading the books on my computer, as a performance. My motivation was both to make use of the files and to spend my last year in school in "training" for the outside world.

During the performance, I read each book in digital format, and while reading I typed out "notes" (a term which I define loosely). When I finished a book I crossed it off of a master list and took a photo of the list. The performance lasted over 400 days. In April of 2008, I completed the last book.

O'Reilly Media agreed to provide the physical copies of the books for the first public presentation of "Computer Skills" at Chelsea Art Museum in New York which opens May 14th of 2008.

This website archives the documentation of the performance: the notes I took for each book (in TXT format), photographs of the list of books being crossed off (in JPG format), and digital versions of the books that were published containing both the notes and images (in PDF format).