All software programs contain “machine language” — the low-level digital code to which machines can respond directly. This course seeks to expand our critical and creative understandings of how communications with machines occur, and to create agency to influence or redirect how these interactions shape our comprehension of ourselves, each other, and our worlds. Over 10 weeks, we’ll frame our examinations through four lenses: quantization, computation, assembly, and hardware dependency. In what ways does constant interfacing with a multiplicity of machines contour our sensory perceptions, informational structures, and bodily abilities? How do we identify and interrogate our sociotechnical imaginaries in ways which recognize our entangled relationships? How might we better understand the machine languages that surround us, and how might we start to build alternatives? Weekly readings, in-class discussion, example projects, and creative prompts will all be used as we explore our personal and collective relationship to machine language.
Sherri Wasserman is a designer, writer/researcher, and multidisciplinary collaborator who constructs experiences at the intersections of physical, multimedia, and informational landscapes. She makes things for print, digital, and architectural/environmental spaces, creating content-rich exhibitions, installations, publications, websites, and mobile apps for wide-ranging audiences. In addition to her experience on projects ranging from individual artist partnerships to initiatives for major institutions, she has a background in visual art and history (Oberlin College), design and programming for emerging technologies (ITP at NYU), and science and technology studies (ASU’s Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology PhD program). Her work increasingly focuses on expanding collective survivability through engagement with complex systems, sustainability and environmental justice principles, ethical documentary and design practices, and futures methods.
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Jace Clayton is an artist and writer based in New York, also known for his work as DJ /rupture. He is the author of 'Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture' (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Clayton is currently an Assistant Professor of Visual Arts and Interim Director of Columbia University’s Sound Art MFA Program.
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