Thinkings at Southern Exposure

Southern Exposure will be hosting my three-part discussion series called “Thinkings: How computers change the way we see by altering the way we think.”

Tuesday, September 21, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, October 19, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, November 16, 7:00 – 9:00pm

Thinkings: How Computers Change The Way We See By Altering The Way We Think

For Southern Exposure, I produced a book and a discusion series that explores the impact of computers on visuality in art practice and the practice of everyday life.

Soft Monkey

Animal painting is popular again; the evidence is on YouTube. But it was popular in the Fifties and Sixties too and taken seriously by some in the art world and certainly by some biologists. Congo, the painting chimpanzee was a star.


How is it that image and the epithet have replaced rhetoric as the stuff of American politics? This is the question proper to Schwarzenegger’s exploitation of the insult “girly-man” in order to attempt to force the recalcitrant state legislature to assent to his budget proposal.

The Game Of Life

If life were a game, what game would it be? Certainly not the game of all possible games. And not Magister Ludi 's Glass Bead Game: the aesthetic athletics of the intellect.[1] It must rather be either war or race; in either case, it is a contest.

The Rules of the Game | The Game of the Rules

If life were a game, what game would it be? … It must be either war or race; in either case, it is a contest. The abstract field of contest is a schematic representation of the territory beneath our feet: a map of the world. It is at once a field of combat as an un-owned commons, and the territorialized space of land as possession, with all places and possible positions marked out. Against this grid the move is made; the move is measured. The pieces find their places.

Flame Hardened Bed

The site of production for Inscription, has a significance beyond some breezy fascination with the "making of" things. The machine shop instantiates a particular machinic aesthetic.

A Children's Game Transformed by the Solvent of Computational Method Thus Allowing for the Displacement of a Moral Overlay ...

... by a Free Play of Algorithmic Patterning. In modeling the game Chutes and Ladders on a computer, we gain insight into the nature of both games and computation. The computer version, unlike the rule bound cardboard version, is unfixed, thus allowing for the displacement of a moral overlay by a free play of algorithmic patterning. The abstraction of the model preserves a structure but unleashes a principal of variation: the computer makes every constant a variable (as Marcos Novak observes as he describes the liquefaction of architecture). The arbitrariness of particular rules becomes evident.

VI. Yet Another Science

For computer science, the meaning of the word abstract is tied most often to the third sense of the term, as outlined above, generality. As with art, there seems to be some slippage, and particularly in theoretical deployments, the term can denote the conceptual.

IV. Instantiations

I take three pieces from the recent CODEDOC show at the Whitney’s Artport to be representative of a certain strain of abstraction in software art that takes into account both the modernist traditions of abstraction outlined above and a cybernetic version of abstraction that, although it may share some surface characteristics with modernist painting, ha