Entirely interesting discussion this month, thank you,
and so proliferating now!
Does code require an audience? and who or what does it perform to or for?
The notion of a performative code seemed obvious, at first; but up until a recent
InfoMus Lab workshop (in Genova, at the Casa Paganini, a very old, renovated 16th century nunnery - see
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmHYVoX0Pz4), I was not really aware of an academic field
having developed lately (critical software studies, cultural studies of software).....
yet after a long day of discussing how the InfoMus Lab's "EyesWeb" software "reads" or models
movements/gestures, and thus embodiment, I became more and more fascinated by
the shifts, in discussion, between readability of movement (there were dancers there,
but also software writers, scientists and researchers), illegibility of gesture, and readabilty
of code/illegibility of the modeling, or rather the way some of us contested the presumptions
of the machine learning and the movement ontology written into the motion analysis system.
We asked ourselves how data produce a reality of movememt, and what kind of reality is it?
Non-human entities and machines of course perform fine, and Warhol was not joking;
but there were so many instances, on that day of discussion in the Casa Paganini, and of looking into the Eyesweb
tracking syntax, its fine triangulations, the layers of the model (for objective, expressive, social
data analysis etc), that I left with a host of questions, in that case addressed at our group (and myself) working with
a software and research system dedicated to develop computational models of nonverbal expressive
and social behavior. I don't know the system that well yet, and may not use it or have a need for it;
but do glance at the InfoMus Lab introduction-video if you get a chance, there is a lovely moment when
a dancer performs on (top of) an image projection of the software (projected onto the stage floor) working hard to "read" the movement above and beyond it
in real time, to read/write illegible affect, to make its writerly thing.
I'm not sure how relevant the question is, but are there instances of
*images* performing as software code?
there are QR-codes, but they are encodings/encryptions of text files
which are then treated as data to be processed by software.