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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  March 2014

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING March 2014

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Subject:

Re: March Discussion Begins: The Performativity of Code

From:

Curt Cloninger <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 3 Mar 2014 23:02:32 -0500

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Hi Victoria and all,

I would like to take the question in a philosophy direction, because that's where my interests (most) intersect with the question. But I don't want to hijack the discussion, so whoever wants to follow me, feel free.

////////////////////////

I was glad to see the reference to J.L. Austin via Arns.

So… one can read Barthes' "Death of the Author" and come to the conclusion that all normal, linear text is (always already) more or less "interactive." So then Hayles' "Print is Flat; Code is Deep" upgrades Barthes' print-centric idea of "text," but in the right ways. Because Hayles move is *not* to say that what's new about code is that it's "interactive" (since linear "text" kind of already was interactive).

So… J.L. Austin says that certain illocutionary language (for example, "I now pronounce you man and wife") is performative, and he comes very close to saying that all language is performative. And then Derrida "deconstructs" Austin in a quite reverent way, by saying that Austin was close but didn't quite go far enough, and so Derrida makes the next move and pretty much declares all language perforative. (So even the "merely declarative" sentence, "I do declare, what a lovely day," is performing all sorts of functions depending on its uttered context). And Bakhtin says as much when he talks about the utterance. And Wittgenstein says as much when he talks about langauge games. So I'm just here to echo those folks and posit that all normal, human language is (always already) performative.

So when talking about performative code, the move *can't simply* be that what's new about code is that it's "performative" (since human "language" kind of already is perforative).

////////////////////////

So that doesn't answer the question, but hopefully sets up the question to be more fruitfully answered?

OBLIQUE LINK FUN TIME!!!
me on glitch + utterance: http://lab404.com/glitch/
stephen ramsay livecommenting on livecoding: http://vimeo.com/9790850
stephen ramsay and geoffrey rockwell talking about writing as programming as writing: http://vimeo.com/10039185

Best,
Curt

Curt Cloninger
Assistant Professor of New Media
University of North Carolina Asheville

+++++
Home: http://lab404.com
Garden: http://playdamage.org
Archive:  http://deepyoung.org
Portfolio: http://lab404.com/art/
School: http://nm.unca.edu


On Mar 3, 2014, at 5:22 AM, Victoria Bradbury wrote:

> *In what ways is performativity expressed in code?*

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