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The materiality of Code: Towards an understanding of socio-technical relations

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This essay studies the source code of an artwork from a software studies
perspective. By examining code that come close to the approach of critical
code studies (Marino, 2006), I trace the network artwork, Pupufu (Lin, 2009)
to understand various real-time approaches to social media platforms (MSN,
Twitter and Facebook). The focus is not to investigate the functionalities and
efficiencies of the code, but to study and interpret the program level of code
in order to trace the use of various technological methods such as third-party libraries and platforms’ interfaces. These are important to understand the
socio-technical side of a changing network environment. Through the study of
code, including but not limited to source code, technical specifications and
other materials in relation to the artwork production, I would like to explore
the materiality of code that goes beyond technical implementation, and to
consider the things that have been inscribed in the level of code socially. I
argue that examining code is a way to understand socio-technical relations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Matter of Design : Making Society trough Science and Technology - Proceedings of the 5th STS Italian Conference
EditorsClaudio Coletta, Sara Colombo, Paolo Magaudda, Alvise Mattozzi, Laura Lucia Parolin, Lucia Rampino
Number of pages696
Place of publicationMilano
Publication yearDec 2014
Pages681
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-78146-05-6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
SeriesProceedings of the 5th STS Italia Conference 2014

    Research areas

  • code; software; socio-technical; nonhuman

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