12. Code Sourcery: Software as Magic and Metaphor


Computer code enters society as a new form of text, intimately entangled with other forms of text and with social and cultural interactions. Code brings about virtuality, “the cultural perception that material objects are interpenetrated by information patterns” (N. Katherine Hayles). As software, an executable language, code offers a wealth of new metaphors for the cosmos, the body, and society. It operates as a new logos and a new alchemy—“sourcery,” as Wendy Hui Kyong Chun calls it.

Reading
View Manuel Delanda, Deleuze and the Use of the Genetic Algorithm in Architecture (YouTube). Selections from Claude Levi-Strauss, Cultural Anthropology, and Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory.

Assignment
Work on final project.

Resources
William Latham
John Al Biles' GenJam

Supplement
The "New Aesthetic" Debate
James Bridle's blog entry The New Aesthetic
Bruce Sterling in Wired An Essay on the New Aesthetic
Ian Bogost in The Atlantic The New Aesthetic Needs to Get Weirder
The Creators Project In Response to Bruce Sterling's Essay...
Robert Jackson at Furtherfield The Banality of the New Aesthetic