Reading Data and Code as Cultural Objects

Our world is run by programs written in code in one or several languages. We increasingly use data that we visualize to interpret, read trends, and “drive” decisions. Code, data sets, and databases are themselves observable, culturally determined objects, often even observable as aesthetic objects. It’s time for us to start thinking about the cultural aspects of code, databases, and other “under the hood” digital manifestations: How are they written, in what conditions? How does code circulate?  Where is the creative gesture in programming or developing a database? What kills programming languages? Etc. Let’s talk about what it means to start reading our culture in its increasingly digital, raw materials.



Categories: Session Proposals |

About Patsy Baudoin

I'm a subject specialist at the MIT Libraries (media, arts, film studies, visual arts, and foreign lit) and the liaison to MIT's Art, Culture, & Technology program and Media Lab. I am interested in digital arts, digital humanities, electronic literature -- and the preservation of digital media projects in those areas. I'm one of ten co-authors of 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (MIT Press, 2013). I am interested in critical code studies, and more generally, in the history of how ideas travel.