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All of the spaces collapsing: an interview with xtine burrough

[…]have an idea and we’ll kind of run with it as a group and the idea evolves and it just becomes a group project over time. And so we met as a group last year in May. And then throughout the summer, we met and we were talking about what kind of project can we make now as a lab that is pretty much relegated to meetings on MS Teams. That’s the platform that the school uses. You know, not just socially distanced, but really distanced. I mean, really, like some of our members are isolating in their hometowns, which […]
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Review: Conceptualisms: The Anthology of Prose, Poetry, Visual, Found, E- & Hybrid Writing As Contemporary Art, ed. Steve Tomasula. Alabama UP, 2022

[…]sections, Bigelow lists the code for “the Cage text,” which you need to cut and paste into a code converter Bigelow links to. For your labor, you see that the code repeats this sentence over and over: “I have nothing to say, and I am saying it.” The point of all this work isn’t to get to Bigelow’s subjective interior—it’s an homage to Cage’s own play with expectations, dramatizing the mental framework we bring to bear when we an encounter aesthetic object. It also prompts thinking about the work we don’t always realize that we do when we process language […]
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Platforms,Tools and the Vernacular Imaginary

[…]journal. Vernacular by default, the early web was made of half-finished homepages, alien looking code, broken links and error messages. It was also a period of creative possibilities and utopian dreams for free personal expression in networked groups. With few large hubs to connect people, islands of communities formed around trying to figure out what the web might be. Lialina’s own innovative digital art, as with the “net art” movement in general, was made in the context of this emerging web folk culture. She writes: “…although I consider myself to be an early adopter–I came late enough to enjoy and […]

Gathering Critical Code Studies Working Group 2020

This special gathering collects reflections of the Critical Code Studies Working Group 2020 (CCSWG ‘20), a biannual meeting to explore the intersections of humanistic inquiry and computer code studies. Coordinated by Mark Marino (USC), Jeremy Douglass (UCSB), and Zach Mann (USC), the 2020 Working Group was held online from January 20 to February 3. It brought together more than 150 participants from around the world to share ideas, populating dozens of discussion threads with hundreds of comments, critiques, and critical readings. The need to attend to code could not be more urgent. Code exerts a regulatory effect over society and […]
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Week Three: Feminist AI

Main Thread: According to its 2019 fourth quarter earnings report, Google nets $15 billion US dollars annually, and the building block of its revenue is ad sales from Search. As the internet began to expand in the early 1990s, the need to search its uncatalogued environment became a critical building block for digital interconnectedness. Two approaches to the logic of searching the internet emerged: American investor Bill Gross promoted search results as sites to be auctioned to the highest bidder, while Larry Page and Sergey Brin vehemently opposed advertising and developed an algorithm. These two search logics (algorithm or […]

Week Two: Indigenous Programming

Main thread: Despite being taught around the world, programming languages are written primarily in English. Why is English our default? While an increase in support for the international text encoding standard Unicode has allowed developers to create computing languages in their native tongues, their widespread adoption is far from the norm. In Week Two of the Critical Code Studies Working Group, Dr. Jon Corbett (a Cree/Saulteaux Métis media artist, computer programmer, and sessional faculty at the University of British Columbia), Dr. Outi Laiti (a Sámi Associate Researcher at the University of Helsinki’s Indigenous Studies program and project manager at […]

Week One: Introduction to Critical Code Studies

[…]to Critical Code Studies (Main Thread).” CCS Working Group 2020, Marino, Mark C. Critical Code Studies › Electronic Book Review. 31 Jan. 2012, […]
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TL;DR: Lessons from CCSWG 2020

The Critical Code Studies Working Group 2020 (CCSWG ‘20) was another watershed moment for this burgeoning field. On the one hand, it celebrated 10 years since the first Working Group. On the other hand, the fact that we were still convening working groups meant that scholars still needed help finding their way through code. Notably, we were also hosting this Working Group the year that MIT Press published Critical Code Studies. We took the opportunity of the book launch to spend Week 1 introducing Critical Code Studies (CCS) to the participants in a new way. While the Working Groups always […]

Introduction to Critical Code Studies Working Group

[…]was originally published on the CCS website in January 2020 as “Week 1: Introduction to Critical Code Studies”.   Welcome to the first week of the 2020 Critical Code Studies Working Group. During this week, we’ll be introducing critical code studies in general by means of the introductory chapter to the forthcoming book Critical Code Studies (The MIT Press). We’ll also take this week as an opportunity to introduce newcomers to the field but also to take stock in where the field has come and to look forward to where it is headed next. Critical Code Studies (CCS) names the […]
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[…]specifically coordinated) range of combinations that are bound within the artifact that is the code base. Similarly, the initial iteration of Montfort’s Taroko Gorge (2009), while it builds stanzas randomly in real time as the work runs in your browser, is also a bounded object whose entirety can be understood by examining its code. Or can it? A work like Taroko Gorge, as elegant as it is as a standalone work, has achieved widespread attention thanks to the wave of remixes that it has inspired. The ever-growing list includes works of varied quality, some of which could stand alone as […]