Winnie Soon, Geoff Cox: Aesthetic Programming: A Handbook of Software Studies (2020)

14 February 2021, dusan

Aesthetic Programming explores the technical as well as cultural imaginaries of programming from its insides. It follows the principle that the growing importance of software requires a new kind of cultural thinking — and curriculum — that can account for, and with which to better understand the politics and aesthetics of algorithmic procedures, data processing and abstraction. It takes a particular interest in power relations that are relatively under-acknowledged in technical subjects, concerning class and capitalism, gender and sexuality, as well as race and the legacies of colonialism. This is not only related to the politics of representation but also nonrepresentation: how power differentials are implicit in code in terms of binary logic, hierarchies, naming of the attributes, and how particular worldviews are reinforced and perpetuated through computation.

Using p5.js, it introduces and demonstrates the reflexive practice of aesthetic programming, engaging with learning to program as a way to understand and question existing technological objects and paradigms, and to explore the potential for reprogramming wider eco-socio-technical systems. The book itself follows this approach, and is offered as a computational object open to modification and reversioning.”

Publisher Open Humanities Press, 2020
Creative Commons BY-SA License
ISBN 9781785420948
293 pages

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From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today (2020)

26 April 2020, dusan

“In the late 1970s, an interdisciplinary team led by the composer Iannis Xenakis developed the UPIC (Unité Polyagogique Informatique CEMAMu) out of an effort to transform drawings into synthesized sound. The composers can draw waveforms and envelopes straight onto an electronic tablet interface and translate them into sound through the computer. The revolution in graphic composition triggered by Iannis Xenakis and carried forward by other established computer musicians such as Jean-Claude Risset or Curtis Roads continues forty years later in modern computer programs.”

“Together with the Centre Iannis Xenakis, the ZKM is now addressing the genesis of this unique computational instrument and traces its technical, social, institutional, and educational significance up to the current practice of contemporary composers.”

Contributors: Richard Barrett, Rodolphe Bourotte, Pierre Couprie, Cyrille Delhaye, Alain Després, Julio Estrada, Kiyoshi Furukawa, Rudolf Frisius, Hughes Genevois, Kosmas Giannoutakis, Dimitris Kamarotos, Henning Lohner, François-Bernard Mâche, Guy Médigue, Chikashi Miyama, Lukas Nowok, Gerard Pape, Marcin Pietruszewski, Brigitte Robindoré, Julia Rommel, Julian Scordato, Takehito Shimazu, Victoria Simon, Andrey Smirnov, Ronald Squibbs, Katerina Tsioukra, Peter Weibel.

Edited by Peter Weibel, Ludger Brümmer and Sharon Kanach
Publisher Hatje Cantz, Berlin, and ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2020
Open access
ISBN 9783775747417, 3775747419
672 pages

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Audio samples and additional archive material

Warren Sack: The Software Arts (2019)

19 March 2020, dusan

“In The Software Arts, Warren Sack offers an alternative history of computing that places the arts at the very center of software’s evolution. Tracing the origins of software to eighteenth-century French encyclopedists’ step-by-step descriptions of how things were made in the workshops of artists and artisans, Sack shows that programming languages are the offspring of an effort to describe the mechanical arts in the language of the liberal arts.

Sack offers a reading of the texts of computing—code, algorithms, and technical papers—that emphasizes continuity between prose and programs. He translates concepts and categories from the liberal and mechanical arts—including logic, rhetoric, grammar, learning, algorithm, language, and simulation—into terms of computer science and then considers their further translation into popular culture, where they circulate as forms of digital life. He considers, among other topics, the “arithmetization” of knowledge that presaged digitization; today’s multitude of logics; the history of demonstration, from deduction to newer forms of persuasion; and the post-Chomsky absence of meaning in grammar. With The Software Arts, Sack invites artists and humanists to see how their ideas are at the root of software and invites computer scientists to envision themselves as artists and humanists.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2019
ISBN 9780262039703, 0262039702
xx+375 pages

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