text - software art related > cultural critique of software

thirteen projects in this subcategory

It looks like you're writing a letter: Microsoft Word by Matthew Fuller
Critical essay on word processing and analysis of Microsoft Word in particular.
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The Macintosh Computer: Archetypal Capitalist Machine? by William Bowles
[The following text, written in 1987 and published by the small press magazine "PhotoStatic/Retrofuturism" in 1990, appears to be the first cultural critique of computer software. It has been republished lately by former PS/RF editor and Tape-beatle Lloyd Dunn within an electronic reprint of Retrofuturism No. 13. [...]
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Perl, the first postmodern computer language by Larry Wall
A programmer's take on postmodernism.
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Behind the Blip: Software as Culture by Matthew Fuller
(some routes into 'software criticism', more ways out.)
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Programming with a Paintbrush by Richard Wright
A comparison of two highly contrasting designs of artist’s moving image software - Quantel and Adobe After Effects. This detailed critical essay analyses how a creative practice is constructed not through the technical definition of the software nor its visual design but its “techno-aesthetic” – the cultural models and encoded subjectivities by which a system’s [...]
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Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham
Recent essay by the designer of Arc language, x-president of Viaweb, and author of books "On Lisp" and "ANSI Common Lisp". Though the essay operates with the hackers' concepts of "beautiful software" and uses the example of Leonardo to illustrate how a hacker's artistic career can eventually evolve, it is extremely interesting in a way it describes the common patterns of "computer science" [...]
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The Jargon File by Various authors. Maintained by Eric S. Raymond
The Jargon File is a long-running dictionary of hacker slang continuously contributed by hackers, which provides an insight into hacker and thus software culture. ("Hacker" in this context refers not to people who break into computers, but to devoted programming enthusiasts.) The Jargon File also includes chapters analyzing hacker Jargon construction by identifying characteristics such as [...]
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Wiki Wiki Web by Site and software by Ward Cunningham. Text by many.
Launched in 1995, WikiWikiWeb is the first-ever Wiki. Its topic loosely centers on programming issues - and whatever its readers find to be "related" discourse. WikiWikiWeb is interesting both as a text about software and its culture and as software itself. Anyone can edit or add new content in a straightforward manner. [...]
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Made by Users. How Users Improve Things, Provide Innovation and Change Our Idea of Culture by Mirko Schaefer
Author: In this paper I describe: a) how the collaborative work of competent users is providing innovation and that this could create b) an interactive market, where product definitions are possible only for a moment before these artefacts become modified or reshaped and that this raises questions concerning copyrights and democracy. [...]
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Software Art and Political Implications in Algorithms by Pau David Alsina Gonzalez
Author: Nowaday we can find how behind Software there is a particular mental model structuring a range of possible actions within each particular software’s functionalities. As it happens inside Computers, Software assumes a conception of communication, memory, cognition or intelligence confronted in dialogue with our own human capacities. [...]
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Digital Objects by Matthew Fuller
Author: This paper presents an analysis of a group of social software projects including Nine by Harwood for Mongrel, OPUS Commons by Raqs Media Collective, and Spring_Alpha by a team lead by Simon Yuill alongside a number of other projects. These are all network-based applications that are aimed at use in workshop situations, and all to some degree or other involve reflexive work on the nature [...]
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A Glimpse Beyond Search Engines. "Verb thou art, and unto verb shalt thou return" by Cristophe Bruno
Author: In the present paper, I describe briefly some projects (that do not exist as yet) which one can see either as possible utilitarian global structures or as art-fiction pieces subverting these structures. I’m not going to distinguish between the two, as their development is not advanced enough. These projects are in progress on iterature.com and you will just find a foretaste here. [...]
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The Sequencer Paradigm by Alessandro Ludovico
Author: The interfaces of music sequencing programs are developing their own peculiarities, stimulating artists to give their own interpretations of a well-consolidated paradigm. The recursive flow of the sounds, marked by their elements enclosed in the loops, has been reconfigured with very different parameters and perspectives which have exploited the aesthetical possibilities of their [...]
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