Vocable Code

Title: Vocable Code

Year of production: 2017-

:: Description ::

Vocable Code is both a work of “software art” (software as artwork, not software to make an artwork) and a “codework” (where the source code and critical writing operate together) produced to embody “queer code”, examining the notion of queerness in computer coding through the interplay of different human and nonhuman voices. Collective statements and voices complete the phrase “Queer is…” and together make a computational and poetic composition. Through running Vocable Code on a browser, the texts and voices are repeated and disrupted by mathematical chaos, creating a dynamic audio-visual literature and exploring the performativity of code, subjectivity and language. Behind the executed web interface, the code itself is deliberately written as a codework, a mix of a computer programming language and human language, exploring the material and linguistic tensions of writing and reading within the context of (non)binary poetry and computer programming. More info: https://github.com/siusoon/VocableCode

Additionally, with the initial aim of having ‘Vocable code’ in the context of a feminist coding workshop, it is designed to be simple and legible enough for code reading that incorporates basic coding concepts, such as functions, conditions, textual effects, data import, etc to facilitate code learning and discussion in a workshop setting. The workshop was first conducted in 2017 at Aarhus, which was called “Feminist Coding in p5.js | Can Software be Feminist?”, and it was primarily for women, queers, LGBT and non-binaries who were interested in learning and discussing programming. The workshop addressed computer code as a language that is designed for both human and machine reading. While participants would base on the artwork ‘Vocable Code’ to learn basic coding concepts, they would also explore code as expressive and aesthetic materials, such as computer code as poetic text that is performative and executable. Through thinking and discussing about code and (non)binary logics, participants would incorporate textual materials, visual effects and audio elements/recording voices to produce their own algorithmic vocable code (in the form of both software and webpages) that addresses the border theme of feminism.

:: Video Documentation ::

More details: https://github.com/siusoon/VocableCode

:: Exhibition/Performance/Publication ::

  • 2018, Electronic Literature Festival, Montreal, Canada (forthcoming)
  • 2018, MAI Journal, Online (forthcoming)
  • 2018, Wilful Technologies rapid publication (forthcoming)
  • 2018, International Conference on Artistic Research, University of Plymouth, UK (with Geoff Cox)