Code Societies 2018: Student Showcase

written by @stud1nt and @riffdonston

Three weeks of Code Societies truly flew by! Fast forward to the evening of Saturday, July 21st for our highly anticipated student showcase at Prime Produce, a a guild for social good, located in Hell’s Kitchen.

Here and there, over the three weeks, we hypothesized in class and during in-between breaks about what we might do or what we could do with tentative excitement. The parameters for our projects were spectacularly and speculatively open ended: something we made for class, something we made alongside classwork, a reflection, a performance, an installation done individually or as a group.

For information about the students, please check out Meet the Students posting.

Pre-presentation setup

Melanie kicked off the night with a warm introduction to the School for Poetic Computation, a special shout-out to the wonderful artists and teachers who made Code Societies a lived reality, and the intentions behind our student showcase.

The first presentation came from k. and jenny who paired up to tackle questions around public and private surveillance and the never-ending battle to keep our phones charged with their cell phone wall!

k. kovacs and jenny nelson, cell phone wall

Greyory presented “Silly Bees”, a mixed media video installation based on a 17th century madrigal that imagines a speculative future of lost data sets, collapsed networks, and confused machines.

Greyory Blake, Silly Bees (pt.1)

Ruth shared type3, a playful website integrating Google Streetview. Visitors are prompted to enter a three letter word. If it matches one within the arbitrary 30 entry database, they are directed to a related location.

Ruth Johnstone

Tanja presented her recently completed six year project “Are you really my friend?” which explores what friendship means in the age of Facebook through portraits and paraphernalia.

Tanja Hollander, Are you really my friend?
Annaka Olsen, What is a real friend?

Lynne made a Type Proof Generator, which takes a limited character set input and tries to create new sentences with only those glyphs.

Lynne Yun

Lisa drew from Allison Parrish’s class “Authorizing text under control” Markov chain text generator and lyrics from love songs to generate poetry!

Lisa Larson-Walker, Love Songs

stud1nt addressed questions of accessibility, authorship, and collaboration through an interactive modular synthesis installation that was recording throughout the evening.

stud1nt, turn on, patch in, patch out
Ryn Silverstein, From the Verses of the Earth
Katy Gero, blue pill dissolving

Azul reflected on how the experience of Code Societies prompted her to explore more about the framing and reframing of our perspectives around being more and doing less.

Azul Ceballos

Nicolás shared a few of his ideas around the way spending time with the Cybernetic Library shaped his understanding of building relationships with others. He suggested creating an interactive component to the library where perceived engagement with a book triggered more or less reading light.

Nicolás Llano Linares, The 20th Century Student: Ways of Exploring the Cybernetic Library

In gathering answers to the question “in the realm of love, friendship, and affection, is there a feeling (or sentiment, emotion, or action) you wish you had a single word to describe, but don’t?”, Bailey hoped to expound the limitations of language surrounding intimacy and realize an undefined, queer ontology of relations that we are continuously producing as we care for one another.

Bailey Steele
Diana Dias, One way to fill in the gaps of language

Maria organized a “Stackoverflow for Artists” picnic during the course of Code Societies for students to hang out, reflect on classes, and explore potentialities for final projects. She presented the art and collaborative work generated during that session.

Maria Roszyk, Stackoverflow for Artists

Cindy shared her decade-long manual data collection project of banal negative commentary from the NYT print section, On the Market.

Cynthia Hoffman, The Kitchen Could Use Updating

Luming presented his neural network trained on Joan G Stark’s ascii art of aquatic animals and a music box cover of “Under the Sea”.

Luming Hao, undersea.mid
Post-presentation mingles

All great things come to an end. Code Societies is no exception. There’s just too much to say for three weeks curiously exploring the underbelly of computation, software, and technology with an equally playful and dedicated cohort of students, artists, and teachers. So, here’s a picture of us, they say it’s worth a thousand words.

Code Societies 2018 class photo!