Tuesday, April 25, 2006

On the Emergence of Computer and Biological Code-Scripts

Just received an announcement for this talk at the RI School of Design. I wish I could attend, mostly to see how Eugene Thacker's conception of "biomedia" - the convergence of programmable computing, genetic science and bioinformatics - is picked up.
"Programmable Visions: On the Emergence of Computer and Biological Code-Scripts"
Lecture by Wendy Chun
Tuesday May 2nd
RISD Auditorium, 7PM

"Programmable Visions: On the Emergence of Computer and Biological Code-Scripts"
Why are images proliferating at a time when their power to index reality is waning? How and why have non-transparent technologies, such as computers, become conflated with transparency? This talk argues that the answer to these questions lies in the unforeseen emergence of programming languages. Drawing connections between early genetics and computer engineering, this talk argues that digital computing's "programmability"-its return to a "clock-work" universe-encapsulated mid-twentieth century dreams of biological heredity. Rather than foreshadowing DNA, as many have argued, early ruminations on the existence of a genetic code-script that conflated execution and legislation, such as Schrodinger's What is Life?, foreshadowed the emergence of a code-based causality, which software-not DNA-would, and could only, instantiate.

posted by ryan griffis  # 9:31 PM

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