Deep Code. How Millennials Make Innovations in the Semiology of Info-graphics

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The recent philosophical turn towards Materialism and Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) as a non-human-centered view of the world based on the limits of knowledge, reconsiders the relationships between material and immaterial processes.

In the Digital Age, the visual language of the art has been adapted to devices that use OOP (Object-Oriented Programming) technologies, developed through new VPLs (Visual Programming Language) and VPEs (Visual Programming Environment). Programming environments that use languages ​​such as Java™, are used to develop full-blown design, large scale installation works, motion graphics, complex data visualizations, performative maps and prototyping tools. The Processing VPE project is an example of IDE (Integrated Development Environment), which is used for testing one-off ideas: program elements in Processing are fairly simple, and the Java™ language has a new and wider audience.

In this context, the immaterial process of graphics production is possible only through the manipulation of the programming language. Write codes (eg. for motion graphics, complex data visualizations, performative maps) require the use of a textual syntax that specifies attributes (data) and methods (procedures) condensed into abstract models. Every project in graphics, it becomes an interactive rich-media project when it is developed in an IDE.

Digital natives have an intense relationship with scripting, coding and programming actions. Globally networked, easy-to-use computers can enhance learning, but only within an educational environment that encourages students to question “facts” and seek challenges. We have a number of ways to know and think about the world, including doing, seeing and manipulating symbols.

Object-based programming language for kids added programmability to media-manipulation activities that are popular in youth culture, and it encouraged young people to learn through exploration and peer sharing.

Some programming environments as Alice, Greenfoot, and Scratch have become elements of inexpensive end-to-end computers projects, developed to be the perfect introduction to programming; it provide a pedagogical framework, exercises, and fundamentals for each key stage rubric in the new computing curriculum. Together, big data and little hardware as Kano computers for educational, give us a lot of power.

The largest business market for graphics makes analysis and report for visualizations, animations, and virtual reality. People in business and science have more trouble communicating than discovering. Quantitative graphics and map-making become theoretical subjects that turn quickly. The Semiology of Graphics (Bertin, 1967), the first and most influential structural theory of (statistical) graphics, was adapted to the Digital Age by Laurini’s Semiology of Infographics (1998). Although Bertin put his signs on paper, his work applies as well to virtual space. Leland Wilkinson said:

Programming a computer exposes contradictions in commonsense thinking, however. And programming a computer to draw graphs teaches most surely the ancient lesson that God is in the details.

Languages ​​and devices will evolve rapidly thanks to programming education: we need rethinking the ecosistem from the (statistical) graphics and map-making.

Originally published on 2014