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Reading Code (Instructor: Rita Raley, UCSB) (Winter 2006) (graduate seminar)

[Course site]
[Transliteracies-related assignment]

This seminar will address code as an object and medium of contemporary critical inquiry, political engagement, and artistic and literary production. Issues and genres that we will study throughout include the poetics, aesthetics, and politics of code; Saussurean semiotics; codework; operational text; electronic English and global language politics; machine translation; software cultures (including the Free Software and Open Source movements); the control society; and hacktivism and tactical media. Text+

We will also discuss the virtual class (variously, the Netzvolk, the digerati, the cognitariat) and the “California ideologyâ€? in relation to neoliberalism. One of the premises of the course will be that it is not simply a technical process of compilation that links the symbolic systems of language and code — that is, natural languages and the tower of programming languages, from machine language up to fourth-generation programming languages. Rather, they are bound up in a feedback loop wherein code not only has a material effect on the world but socio-cultural formations are mapped onto code. Experimental writing and poetry; theory and criticism; media artists and tacticians.

  tl, 01.21.06

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