There is a fine line between making an interactive artwork and making an expressive tool or an instrument.
Golan’s Yellowfish was conceived as a tool for live performance:
Manual input session can function as a musical instrument:
Digital artist often experiment with the aesthetic of the interface:
Cube with Magic Ribbons from Simon Katan on Vimeo.
Sound and visual toys became particularly popular with the advent of touchscreens and apps:
http://sws.cc -> Sonic Wire Sculptor from amit pitaru on Vimeo.
Arcs21 by LIA (200?)
Jacksonpollock.org by Miltos Manetas (2003) is way better for iPhone
Some software artists deconstruct the digital tools we use every day exposing the raw digital matter beneath the user friendly interface.
Auto-illustrator by Adrian Ward (2001)
Signwave Auto-Illustrator is an experimental, semi-autonomous, generative software artwork and a fully functional vector graphic design application to sit alongside your existing professional graphic design utilities.
Software as culture / speculative software…
Shredder by Mark Napier 1998
Web pages are temporary graphic images created when browsing software interprets HTML instructions. As long as all browsers agree (at least somewhat) on the conventions of HTML there is the illusion of solidity or permanence in the web. But behind the graphical illusion is a vast body of text files — containing HTML code — that fills hard drives on computers at locations all over the world. Collectively these instructions make up what we call ‘the web’. But what if these instructions are interpreted differently than intended? Perhaps radically differently?
The web browser is an organ of perception through which we ‘see’ the web.
(See also the more recent and playful Geocities-izer)
WebStalker I/O/D (1998)
Visceral Facades: taking Matta-Clark’s crowbar to software.
More recent artistic interventions in browsing took advantage of plugins and non-proprietary software (easier to expand and modify):
Add-Art by Steve Lambert (2008)
WIMP (Windows Interface Manipulation Program) is a program for creating full-screen visual animations synchronized with sound in real time, based on the notion of original wimp (Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointing) devices
Software can be mis-used and subverted even without digging into the code
Suicide Letter Wizard for Microsoft Word by Olga Goriunova (2003)
Spectrum Cube from Emilio Gomariz on Vimeo.