Read_me, Software Art & Cultures, edition 2004, Aarhus


Digital Aesthetics Research Center, University of Aarhus, ISBN 87988444040 The pervasive presence of the software in everything we use daily, did not involve the same capillary diffusion of a culture of software, expanded and evolved. But the same culture, translated into the awareness of the enormous possibilities of the code, crystallized in the Conventions and in the nascent theories about the software is slowly permeating areas of research and analysis of contemporary life. To trace its history over the past three years has been before the festival READ_ME, and then the resulting online archive, chock full of programs that embody the elusive concept of 'software art'. This book is the catalog of the 2004 edition of the READ_ME, a tome of four hundred pages that collects all the many papers presented and thirty reviews of the latest designs. The compendium of interventions explores very different branches of the analysis made in the importance of the software, and its imaginary, intended as processing levels of reality. "The software is a 'mysterious process'" is the definition of Casey Reas, which refers to the characteristics of 'language' of the code and to its enormous potential generative. But this is only one aspect of the culture of software, ranging from the social role of the interfaces, the linguistic conventions attributed to the different actors of the interaction (such as the role of the user'' '), the abstraction of the same concept of software as a cultural construct that draws a dynamic infrastructure but decisive for its contents. Moreover, the same social dynamics that is capable of triggering in its production (sharing, hacking, mutual support) make the software a humus conceptual always ready to welcome its enthusiastic and savvy manipulators. It is precisely this dual level of analysis (the theoretical research done in academia and the least mediated but as effective as the programmers and practitioners) that emerges from the content of the text, made in dealing dialectically significant part of the invisible world around us