Island2, a squatted computer memory zone


Conceptually, a computer’s memory is not only the place where code and data are temporary hosted, but it is also the short term reference for everything that is rendered on the screen. In a way, it represents something like the computer’s “awareness” at a given moment, more than its “short term” memory. Island2 is a free software artwork by Martin Howse which creates “a semi-permanent, isolated island in the computer’s memory”. It’s a program that firmly establishes its own space in the memory, unnoticed and inviolable. This empty, silent virtual zone, is only temporary autonomous, since it can be removed simply switching off or restarting the machine. But its “hidden territory” is fascinating, an unknown digital land invisibly established under the user’s eyes, with no aim to take over any other system part. References to virus and malicious codes are incorrect here, as this piece is doing nothing malicious, simply occupying virtual space. And it’s not an ordinary space, but a memory space, even more a computer memory space, and it’s as essential and volatile as organic memory.