Hi folks. What an interesting thread. I've been thinking about these issues a great deal lately though I feel a bit rusty tossing digital theory around, especially since I am a coding noob.
I'm currently teaching New Genres/Digital Art in a fine art department at a small liberal arts school. The school does not have a computer science department, though I compare notes frequently with a colleague in the math department that teaches coding. I've been teaching Processing for a few years and just started covering MaxMSP/Jitter. The metaphorical paradigms of those two languages has been hitting me very profoundly. ( The first two coding languages I've learned.) Next semester my afore mentioned colleague and I will be introducing a class that involves Arduino.
With this bit of non-theoretical background as a preface I'd like to bring in a quick observation and a few questions and links.
My students often long to physically feel something with their hands other than keyboards and mice. Lately we've been using (http://littlebits.cc/kits/synth-kit?gclid=CPfW__b0-7wCFYhaMgod8C4AdA) Little Bits and (http://www.makeymakey.com/ )Makey Makey. I also just figured out how to use ctlin to control MaxMSP with a Midi interface. Observing the cybernetic feedback loops in each of those cases, both for myself and for my students has been rather a challenge. How is one inside and outside of such a loop? How are we be both inside and outside of language?
The ideologies built into, around, and through software are just as much so in the hardware. What does it mean to our performative physical bodies if and when we change our interfaces....even if it's as small as moving from a mouse to a bunch of knobs or sliders? Or as we slowly but surely adjust our body language how does it adjust our ideas?
Really need to find some time to re-read Gregory Bateson.
Thanks for the stimulating dialogue, even if I spend most time lurking. - Justin Lincoln