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Critical Code Studies Conference – Week Four Introduction

[…]open up spaces of discovery. Nevertheless, it was our shared text for Week 4 of the Critical Code Studies Working Group – Wendy Hui Kyong Chun’s first chapter from her forthcoming book Programmed Visions: Software and Memory – that challenged me to rethink the anecdote of my dad’s fingertips in relationship to notions of ritual and magic that undergird so much of our technological practice. In this chapter, Chun introduces the term “sourcery” to signify what she sees as contemporary culture’s fetishism of source code. Software (source code), Chun claims, “is a magical force that promises to bring together the […]
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Critical Code Studies Conference- Week Five Discussion

[…]the spot. While something of a special case, then, livecoding raises broader issues for Critical Code Studies, especially questions related to the definition of programming and the visibility of code. As John Bell pointed out, livecoding further applies pressure to the valuation of “scripting” over “coding”: the former is not considered “real” programming because of the use of high-level languages for small tasks. The Ruby on Rails framework was promoted using an “amazing and carefully scripted series of demo magic tricks,” in Jeremy Douglass’ words: on a terminal window projected for an audience, a few scripts generated a basic but […]
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Week One: Introduction to Critical Code Studies

[…]to Critical Code Studies (Main Thread).” CCS Working Group 2020, http://wg20.criticalcodestudies.com/index.php?p=/discussion/57/week-1-introduction-to-critical-code-studies-main-thread. Marino, Mark C. Critical Code Studies › Electronic Book Review. 31 Jan. 2012, […]
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An Emerging Canon? A Preliminary Analysis of All References to Creative Works in Critical Writing Documented in the ELMCIP Electronic Literature Knowledge Base

[…]alone to define a given canon for an entire field of practice is taking a bold, or even arrogant, critical position. The critical reception of a work might be the one area in which we could hope for a clearly empirical measure of canonicity. Yet Ensslin asserts a particularly privileged position with regard to reception when she writes that: The research situation with most hypertexts is such that reviews and academic papers are written by hypertext supporters. Therefore, criticism tends to be rather opinionated and to emphasize the academically interesting sides of a hypertext rather than its cumbersome attributes. Evaluations […]
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Nature’s Agents: Chreods, Code, Plato, and Plants

[…]is a kind of agency revealed here that manifests most powerfully through the water. The poem, the code, and the reader are all very important, to be sure, especially within the context of media studies, which has tended to fetishize the technological at the expense of the natural.  For this the chreod offers a powerful lesson: it is the water’s pull that powers the text. Indeed, it is the “voice” of the water that is paramount when it comes to thinking about environmental fragility.  Communicating the contingent nature of ocean water is, according to Poets for Living Waters,  one of […]
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"These Waves …:" Writing New Bodies for Applied E-literature Studies

[…]and analytical tools of postclassical narratology, ludology, applied linguistics, critical code studies, and semiotics (starting around the mid-2000s). Spear-headed by pioneering early hypertext reader-response work done for example by David Miall and Teresa Dobson, and further refined by scholars like Anne Mangen, Adriaan van der Weel, Colin Gardner, James Pope, and, most recently, by the UK-based “Reading Digital Fiction” research group (Bell, Ensslin, van der Bom, and Smith; see also Ensslin, Bell, Skains, and van der Bom), a third wave of e-lit scholarship has been producing empirical insights into how readers perceive, process, and communicate experiences of multilinear reading, of […]
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Digital Creativity as Critical Material Thinking: The Disruptive Potential of Electronic Literature

[…]‘the humanities’ own methodological toolkits’ with theoretical insights from software, critical code and platform studies” (Pitman, Taylor 4). While I don’t disagree with the potential of this approach to DH, what I am suggesting inverts the traditional Humanities discursive order more radically, by situating making and materiality alongside or, even better, as conceptual undertaking, by taking the place of the immateriality of the rational logos. In order to avoid falling in the trap of instrumentalization, my e-lit framework does not “supplement” traditional humanities’ methodologies but inverts its rational order and asserts the importance of creativity over or, more accurately, within […]
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Critical Code Studies Week Five Opener – Algorithms are thoughts, Chainsaws are tools

[…]constructs indistinguishable from the ones that are built in.  In essence, a macro is a block of code that exploits homoiconicity by temporarily treating another code block as if it were data (before passing it back to the compiler as code). You are not expected to understand this. You know what would be really great?  If people took a piece of a live coding performance — this one or another — recorded their own live commentary over it, and then put that in the comment thread.  It’s easy!  Even the simplest video editor will let you do this.  And really, isn’t […]
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The Code is not the Text (Unless It Is the Text)

[…]computing and technoscience – and his explicitly chosen media keep him immediately allied with codeworking colleagues, Sondheim’s work must also be read against earlier and contemporary writers working within or with a sense of the formally and aesthetically innovative traditions of poetics, and not only the poetics which intersects with Burroughs and Acker. With the implication that Sondheim’s writing needs to be judged as such and should not necessarily be granted a special credit of affect or significance because of its instantiation in new media. In the necessity to read the work in both a programmatological context and in the […]
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Critical Ecologies: Ten Years Later

[…]“Oh, don’t worry, my Toby never bites!” every critic warms to his subject, feels what he studies or the way he studies it is good in the way belief. But I think the rest of us should be leery of Toby. He’s descended from wolves; it’s in his nature to bite. So there is something to be said for a critical stance that refuses to make nice right up to the bitter end, keeps its distance from that which it can’t help but admire. Anyway, the new physiocracy can take care of itself. Leave the note of hope to the […]