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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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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Computational Culture, 7: Apps and Infrastructures (2019)

30 October 2019, dusan

A special issue of the journal, dedicated to the research of apps and infrastructure, with a special section on ‘Critical Approaches to Computational Law’ edited by Simon Yuill.

Contributions by Jeremy Wade Morris and Austin Morris; Carolin Gerlitz, Anne Helmond, Fernando van der Vlist, and Esther Weltevrede; Rowan Wilken, Jean Burgess, Kath Albury; Esther Weltevrede and Fieke Jansen; Michael Dieter and Nathaniel Tkacz; Stacy E. Wood; Johannes Paßmann; Théo Lepage-Richer; Mara Karagianni; Ezekiel Dixon-Roman, Ama Nyame-Mensah and Allison B. Russell; Winnie Soon; Matthias Plennert, Georg Glasze and Christoph Schlieder.

Edited by Carolin Gerlitz, Anne Helmond, David Nieborg, and Fernando van der Vlist
Published in October 2019
Open access
ISSN 2047-2390

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