Code Words: Meet the Students
We’re excited to introduce you to the students for Code Words, a one-week intensive summer session running July 29th-August 3rd. Code Words focuses on how computation relates to literary art and poetry, and will feature a unique structure mixing together, readings, critiques, and lessons in both writing and programming.
The session will be taught by Nick Montfort, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Milton Läufer, Stephanie Strickland and Everest Pipkin with teaching assistance from Todd Anderson. This session is organized by Nick Montfort with administrative help from Taeyoon Choi.
And without further ado, meet the students of SFPC’s Code Words:
I grew up in Argentina. My neighborhood was not the kind where you could safely walk around, and much of my time was spent cooped up and bored. My parents had a large library but no real books for kids and I spent years reading and re-reading the avant-garde masters of Latino literature — Borges, Cortazar, Lispector. While much of their work probably went over my head, I was endlessly fascinated by experimentation and alternate uses for the written word. Later when I moved to the U.S. I started attending hackathons and writing workshops and I became a firm believer in project-based education and the value of trying, developing, failing and learning. I have a joint creative writing/computer science degree and studied with Justin Taylor and Ben Marcus. After college I took two years off to backpack around the world, where I met and studied with one of my literary heroes, Brian Evenson. I have worked as a hair model in Tokyo, a farmer in France, and a nightguard at the most haunted hotel in Scotland. I just moved to Baltimore, where I live with my partner and a pet pig.
Brian Justie is a defector from the music industry, currently ensconced in — and not yet disenchanted with — the realm of academia. He received an MA from NYU, and will begin his PhD this fall at UCLA where he will continue to explore the philosophical crux of computation and aesthetics.
Liza St. James
Liza St. James is a writer and translator from San Francisco. She is editor-at-large for Transit Books and associate editor of the literary annual NOON. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Tunica, Gesture, BOMB, Guernica, and other publications, and her fiction has been translated into Finnish.
Before embarking on my academic career as an anthropologist, I studied jazz performance as a trumpeter in a jazz school in Israel. I have also published poetry (in Hebrew) in a number of journals.
I work for a news organization called Quartz, where I design award-winning news products, data visualization platforms, brands, and tools. In my spare time, I also teach design to graduate students at the CUNY Journalism school. I have a BA in Creativity Theory and master’s in Integrated Product Design. I obsess a lot over the hidden politics of things, cultural memory as a design object, and pedagogy. Some other things I do: pottery, string instruments, bread baking, cooking, knitting, running, writing.
My name is Elana Sasson. I grew up near Berkeley to an Iranian father and a British mother, and a large, tight knit family. I have always had a love for languages — I studied Farsi, Spanish, and Hebrew, and even lived and worked in Madrid, Spain for nine months last year. This affinity has since expanded to coding languages, and their expressive and communicative qualities. I am currently finishing up my final year at UCLA Design Media Arts, where I was able to combine my passion for art, coding, and technology, and more recently, my love for language and poetry. I am looking forward to continuing my artistic practice in other settings, and learning more about this craft and how I can make a positive impact with it.
Esen Nahel Espinosa Cook
I was born in Lima, Peru. I studied Philosophy with a mayor in Aesthetics, focusing (mainly) on the work of Kant, then left to take a master in Systemic Therapy and Group Therapy in the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona. I finished the master after the 3rd year, but I never managed to find my place as a therapist. I then found programming and I left all to learn web development and coding, and then I started a company with a partner (Athelas). Last year, I founded Via Codigo with two friends, a social initiative whose objective is to provide youth from under-resourced and socially disadvantaged circumstances with the opportunity to become web developers . In my free time, I love to play RPGs (pen&paper), music (piano & electronic mainly) and write narrative & Philosophy essays (althoough these are more spaced now than before).
I’m a programmer and writer that inhales and exhales.
Leandra cofounded Vidcode and works on that. Forbes thinks she’s going to do great things in education. She’s still a Girl Scout, and in 2018 Girl Scouts gave her an award and a very nice lunch. She’s writing a comic. She sometimes runs workshops at Creative Coding Fest and ITP Camp.
I did grade school in a kind of California post-new-age cult, lived in Providence the next 4 years (read, went to Brown, Prestigious Historic Private American University but have ambivalence about the structure of the institution while also wanting to make maximal use of its credential) where i thought and talked about interesting things, met good people, passed through various crises of identity and emotion into somewhere hopefully stabler and kinder, and now i live in a forest in a different university where i read, grade undergraduates, play video games, and write computer poetry.
Shawna X Huang
I am independent artist, design & creative direction, sometimes adjunct at Parsons school of design. Background in art & design direction with advertising and digital products. My personal work is often an analysis of society and culture through lens as a woman of color who have struggled through hardship of assimilation and loneliness. I often find inspiration interest in vibrancy and contortion to evoke energy, seduction, and morbid curiosity
I was born is Russia and moved to The Netherlands when I was 9 years old. There I studied Communications and Mutlimedia Design, a broad 4 year bachelor program. There I discovered programming as a creative outlet. After graduating I worked in the creative industry in The Netherlands for 5 years, before getting an offer to come work in New York. This was 2.5 years ago.
Tina writes, edits, and studies bots. She has an MFA in Fiction from Syracuse.
Augusto V Marquet
Augusto V Marquet aka “Chango” (DF, 1982) is a visual designer and author of diverse graphic and social experiments as Bandito e-zine (2006), Anacrón: Hipótesis de un producto Todo (2009) Cuéntanos un Secreto (2011) and Bucle: archivo de ficciones (2017) among other publications. He holds a BA in Visual Communication by the National Autonomous University of Mexico and an MA in Creative Design for Digital Culture, focusing on Interaction and Game Design from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht in The Netherlands. He is an invited docent in the Editorial design Seminar at UNAM and freelance designer.
Diana is a software engineer in New York City with a degree in mathematics and a strong interest in linguistics and learning languages. She likes to read and think critically about beauty, food, and technology.