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This paper presents findings from a study of the social and technical roles of programmers in art-technology collaborations. Combined with a review of the supportive and obstructive roles of technology with respect to helping artists to learn programming, we show that programmers can play several roles in such collaborations, both supportive of and obstructive to the requirements of artists, beyond merely 'doing the programming'. Of central importance is the process of 'attuning' between the actors and artefacts involved. All this is used to suggest some high-level ways in which visualisation technology can be employed to aid both the programming process (for artist and technologist) and the art-technology collaboration process.