Digital Love Languages: Communion, Consent, Refusal, Renewal was a class for reframing our relationship to computing [in relations with others]. Digital Love Languages is based on the premise that there is a world where all our software is made by people who love us. Digital Love Languages is an experiment in communion disguised as a class. In this class, we learned about things as a proxy to learn about other things. We learned about digital consent to learn about sexual consent. We learned about digital coding to learn how we’re socially coded. We learned about network protocols to learn about sharing. We learned about naming to learn about knowing. We learned about learning to learn about living. Together, we built small, personal software for affirming one another across physical distance while making and sharing digital space with each other. We engaged with code as a craft capable of expressing a full range of feeling and desire while looking to the love letter as form, from the quill to the sext. We explored social and digital consent and asked: How are they interwoven? Through a series of educational encounters, we built poetic structures for digital touching and practice a re-examination of personal and networked computing. This was a call to action for expanding computation’s capacity for fostering interdependence and feeling among the immense personal and collective transformations brought on by COVID-19, collapse, and renewal.
Images courtesy of teachers.
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As an artist, educator, and organizer, Melanie studies the role that technology plays in social organization and in reinforcing hegemonic structures. They are co-director of the School for Poetic Computation and a founding member of Hex House and the Cybernetics Library. Melanie strives to cultivate spaces of learning and feeling that encourage honesty and reconciliation for the ways we are shaped by systems of gender, racialization, class, and the trauma these systems inscribe upon our bodies.
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Meghna Dholakia is a designer and artist fascinated by individual, collective, and geologic narratives of transformation. She enjoys long walks and collecting interesting looking leaves.
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Max Fowler is an artist and programmer working with offline-first software, mycology and community infrastructure. They are a contributor to PeachCloud, software that makes hosting peer to peer software on local low-power hardware more accessible. They are also a co-founder of KiezPilz (kiezpilz.de), a communal fungi cultivation group based in Berlin. They were a student at the School For Poetic Computation in 2016, and later a TA. They are one of the admins of sunbeam.city, and are interested in foraging, flip-phones, rust and html.
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