May 14, 2008

SoftWhere: Software Studies Workshop 2008

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 8:59 am

Next week, at UCSD, we’re having this continent’s first Software Studies workshop. I’m very much looking forward to having GTxA’s Nick, Michael, and Mary in San Diego, along with an all-star lineup.

If you can make it for the public session on Wednesday (all afternoon) I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. But you will need to RSVP.

The official announcement follows.

Wednesday, May 21st, from 12:30-5:00pm, the Software Studies Initiative at UC San Diego invites you to attend a public event:

SoftWhere: Software Studies Workshop 2008
Time: Wed. May 21 – Thu. May 22
Place: Calit2, University of California, San Diego
Format: Open public session (Wed May 21, short presentations of research in “Pecha Kucha” format) Closed workshop session (Thu May 22)

Public session seating is limited. RSVP by May 19 to

Software studies is a research field that examines software and cyberinfrastructure using approaches from the humanities, cultural criticism, and social sciences. Following on the first Software Studies Workshop organized by Matthew Fuller (Rotterdam, 2006), SoftWhere @ the University of California, San Diego is a foundational event bringing together key figures in this emerging area to inaugurate the field. The event aims to coalesce a high-level conversation about what it means to study software cultures, and the direction and goals of Software Studies as an emerging movement. It will take place at Calit2, a pre-eminant research center for future computing and telecommunication, where the Software Studies Initiative @ UCSD is located and currently collaborating with researchers on several exciting projects. SoftWhere has has also been timed to precede (and co-ordinate with) the the HASTAC II conference which will begin in nearby U. California Irvine on Thursday evening.

The session on Wed May 21 12:30-5:00pm will be open to the public. The session will feature a rapid series of short presentations by workshop participants (see list below). The format is 5-10 minute speed-talks, modeled on the popular “Pecha Kucha” format, in which each presenter is allowed a slideshow of 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds. Attendees can expect a collage of diverse perspectives on what it means to live in software society and how to study it.

The workshop is sponsored by Calit2, CRCA, HASTAC, UCDARNet, and the UCSD Visual Arts Department.

Off-Campus Participants:

Ian Bogost (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Geoff Bowker (Santa Clara University)
Benjamin Bratton (UCLA / SCI-Arc)
Matthew Fuller (Goldsmiths College, University of London)
N. Katherine Hayles (UCLA)
Matthew Kirschenbaum (University of Maryland)
Peter Lunenfeld (Art Center College of Design)
Mark Marino (USC)
Michael (Mateas (UCSC)
Nick Montfort (MIT)
Rita Raley (UCSB)
Casey Reas (UCLA)
Warren Sack (UCSC)
Phoebe Sengers (Cornell)
Doug Sery (MIT Press)
Chandler McWilliams (UCLA)

Campus Participants:

Lev Manovich (UCSD)
Noah Wardrip-Fruin (UCSD)
Jeremy Douglass (UCSD)
Amy Alexander (UCSD)
Barry Brown (UCSD)
Jordan Crandall (UCSD)
Kelly Gates (UCSD)
Brian Goldfarb (UCSD)
Jim Hollan (UCSD)
Stefan Tanaka (UCSD)
Geoff Voelker (UCSD)

One Response to “SoftWhere: Software Studies Workshop 2008”

  1. mary Says:

    I have some notes from the event I’d like to post:

    look at patterns of permutation, derive patterns and algorithm.

    what software “counts” for software studies
    software and use
    software and design
    software and networks, communication, hardware
    software is a ware – a commercial good that can be exchanged
    creative programs outside of the economy

    what is the audience for software studies? is it design theory, or film theory?
    -culture affected and derived by the sofware (big box store and supply chain)
    audience –

    endpoint: make a deep and meaningful connection back to software design

    encourage cs people to realize that social and humanistic issues are inherent in such questions, and for humanists, help them understand the technical frameworks….

    wittgenstenian model: saing, showing, doing and inventing.

    different programming models.

    computation studies? better than software?
    answerset proramming?
    what it means to compute
    what it means to program
    setp thru and if statements – no, that is one model bbecause fortran did that
    many other ways of writing computation.
    imperative programming is only one way.

    accomplishing goals with computers
    mental models exist as culture

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