Fun and Software Exploring Pleasure, Paradox and Pain in Computing

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-08-28
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Fun and Software offers the untold story of fun as constitutive of the culture and aesthetics of computing. Fun in computing is a mode of thinking, making and experiencing. It invokes and convolutes the question of rationalism and logical reason, addresses the sensibilities and experience of computation and attests to its creative drives. By exploring topics as diverse as the pleasure and pain of the programmer, geek wit, affects of play and coding as a bodily pursuit of the unique in recursive structures, Fun and Software helps construct a different point of entry to the understanding of software as culture. Fun is a form of production that touches on the foundations of formal logic and precise notation as well as rhetoric, exhibiting connections between computing and paradox, politics and aesthetics. From the formation of the discipline of programming as an outgrowth of pure mathematics to its manifestation in contemporary and contradictory forms such as gaming, data analysis and art, fun is a powerful force that continues to shape our life with software as it becomes the key mechanism of contemporary society.

Including chapters from leading scholars, programmers and artists, Fun and Software makes a major contribution to the field of software studies and opens the topic of software to some of the most pressing concerns in contemporary theory.

Author Biography

Olga Goriunova is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, The University of Warwick, UK. She is author of Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet (2012) and a co-founder of the Computational Culture journal.

Table of Contents

Section 1. Software Imaginaries
From Sound to Software, playing withcomputers in the 1950s -- Gerard Alberts (Amsterdam University)
Fun-damental lessons in programmingthe 'puter -- Meurig Beynon (Warwick)
Narrative Intelligence -- Warren Sack (UCSC)Section 2. Modes of Thinkingand Working
Always One BitMore, Computing and the Experience of Ambiguity -- Matthew Fuller (Goldsmiths)
Bend Sinister:Monstrosity and Normative Effects in Notational Production-- Simon Yuill (artist)
So FunIt's Not...-- Wendy Chun and Andrew Lison (Brown)
Making Games With Software -- Christian Andersen (Aarhus University)
Section 3. Programming andLiving with Code
Do Repeat Yourself -- Michael Murtaugh (Piet Zwart Institute)
Not Just For Fun -- Geoff Cox (AarhusUniversity) and Alex McLean (Leeds)
Escaping the Unreasonable Exactness of Algorithms -- Andrew Goffey (Nottingham),
Section 4. Social Circuitsand the Cultural Life of Software
Munging Data: R as embodied energy -- Adrian Mackenzie (Lancaster)
Mechanics of Fun: Inside Apple Apps -- Lev Manovich (CUNY)
Human-ComputerInteraction (HCI), a Sci-Fi discipline? -- Brigitte Kaltenbacher (designer)
Section 5. SoftwareAesthetics
The Future-in-the-past of Software Art -- Olga Goriunova (Warwick)
Expressive Browsing -- Anna Munster (University of New South Wales)
Software Mimicry -- Inke Arns (HMKV, director/curator)

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