The use of Software in the arts can be split int two categories.
Production and Conception.
The computer has been wonderful in significantly reducing the resources and time it takes to produce specific types of forms. It is an efficient tool for creative Production.
Efficiency facilitates creativity by enabling more time for exploration as less time is spent for the final production.
However for artists and designers, having a unique vision requires them to exceed the limitations of the tool. In software, to go beyond the limitations, it is necessary to customize existing tools or to write your very own software - to be unconstrained by the expectations of the software company or another programmer.
Using the computer as a participant in the development of the form is using it as a means of Conception, using it as more than just a production tool..
Engaging with the computer more directly opens up the possibility of not only making tools but environments, systems, entirely new models of understanding and modes of expression.
At this point, the computer ceases to be a tool and instead becomes a medium.