Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, 21-23 November 2012
Jussi Parikka – Reader, Winchester School of Art
Christian McCrea – Program Director for Games, RMIT University
Anna Munster – Associate Professor at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW
Code can be defined in two distinct but related ways: as an underlying technological process, a set of rules and instructions governing, for instance, the permutations of all those 0s and 1s obscured behind user interfaces, but also as a cultural framework navigated and understood socially and performatively, as is the case with legal, social and behavioural codes. As an operative principle, code’s significance thus extends far deeper than its current digital manifestation. For this conference, we invite submissions of papers and creative works that consider the role of code as a simultaneously material and semiotic force that operates across the wider cultural, social and political field, with particular emphasis on media, games and art.
Code is the invisible force at the heart of contemporary media and games, routinely obscured by the gadget fetish of breathless tech marketing and scholarly focus on more visible social and technical interfaces. With the recent material turn in media studies and the refinement of new approaches including software studies and platform politics, which emphasise interrogating the formal characteristics and underlying technical architecture of contemporary media, the time has come to bring code out into the open.