context weblog: [ pr 2002.02.15 ]
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[february issue]:
context series 2002 :: mapping new cultural context



>aesthetic computing

exploration of artistic methods and processes


february 15, 2002

*context weblog <>
announces second issue of context series.

The subject is "Aesthetic Computing" that refers to the search for a new development of representation and notation, the exploration on the use of artistic methods and processes within common representations found in computing. The term was coined by Paul Fishwick a researcher on modeling, simulation and computer arts.

Fishwick defined Aesthetic Computing as "the study of artistic, personalized formal model structures in computing." For him, "at a minimum, this refers to the existence of aesthetics, and its importance, in computing and mathematics. Numerous testimonies to aesthetics can be found in mathematics (Hardy and Poincare), physics (Einstein, Feynman), and computing (Knuth, Bentley with his "Programming Pearls")... But, I think we need to go beyond this minimal interpretation with a serious of "what ifs":
· What if a program was built to look like a city?
· What if an operating system really looked like Tron (the movie)?
· What if a mathematical notation was crafted using an arbitrarily chosen aesthetic or style (such as surrealist, classic Greek, or Gothic)?
· What if we had a Holodeck - would we still focus on textual representation?
· What if artistic representations could be achieved quickly, would this change our creative possibilities for formal models?
· What if we could personalize our interface to mathematics and computing by re-presenting formal model structures that fit our own peculiar and individual needs and wants?"

This is a contribution to a trend on programming, the visual programming -- like David Gelernter, John Maeda, Marc Najork and Simon Kaplan, Takashi Oshiba and Jiro Tanaka and others--. "Programming is typically viewed as a low-level activity underneath the umbrella of software engineering," said Fishwick,"This view should change if we are to more clearly represent programs as models, while relegating textual programs to the status currently occupied by assembly language -a necessary, but low level construct."

We are on the brink of a revolution; how do we think about models for computing, and ultimately, representation in mathematics?

>see february issue of *context series :
aesthetic computing

> about context series

the world emerge as a new territory constantly reconfiguring itself. A discovery journey is needed. At context weblog we do this journey by processing the flow of information --sampling, mapping and experiencing the new territory, the emerging digital culture. Almost daily we take and publish "samples" in a blog (or weblog) and monthly we take a look to new cartographies, to the digital mapmaking of reality.

The map isn't the territory, as the model isn't reality. The map is a referential structure; inside a coordinate system all can be referenced laying the gridwork for reality. We choose the coordinate system of internet references for our "mapping" activities. The *context series <> section of context weblog have this mapping function. By spring 2003, we will pack the 2002 context series as a physical exhibition with their book-catalogue offering a wide mapping on emerging culture.

The first series was devoted to "Information Arts. Intersections of Art, Science and Technology" book by Stephen Wilson, a key contribution to the mapping of art in our contemporary context, focusing on the revolutionary work of artists and theorists who challenge the separations of art and science initiated in the Renaissance.

> about context weblog

an online publication of the *context project <>, which aims to appropriate and disseminate the emerging culture as a new 'art de vivre' the planetary civilization that technology is creating. The "zero ground" current situation highlights the need of this kind of public observatory, this research and development project, this innovative publishing model that contribute to be ready for the coming context, for the next cycle; "the tech revolution is about to get rebooted."

context press releases<

> january 15, 2002
infoarts book by stephen wilson

> january 1, 2002
context weblog released

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