“Software Art and Design: Computational Thinking Through Programming Practice and Critical Code Theory” presented by Soon


Session Title:

  • Education - Computer Programming Education and Creative Arts

Presentation Title:

  • Software Art and Design: Computational Thinking Through Programming Practice and Critical Code Theory




  • Code-based technologies have become commonplace in the fields of Media Art, Digital Design and Software Studies. The term ‘creative coding’ emphasizes code as an expressive material, exploring code concepts and producing creative works through experimentation. While we are experiencing the digital world in which data is constantly generated, captured, monitored and analyzed, the critical aspects of code become increasingly important for us to understand this networked and ubiquitous techno-culture. The courses and seminars in higher education seem to primarily focus either on programming practices or critical aspects of code, however not many of them have been established to address both the practical and critical study of code. We argue that having a computational thinking through both programming practice and critical code theory would offer a different learning approach to understand code-based technologies.

    This presentation will discuss a parallel strategy with two inter-linked courses of ‘Software Studies’ and ‘Aesthetic Programming’, running together within the same semester. The strategy refers to ways of thinking about software culture through both practical and analytical assignments to understand wider political, cultural, social and aesthetic phenomena beyond its functional application. Through emphasizing programming as critical work in itself, the two courses offer the possibility to open up new insights into art and design processes, and to offer new perspectives on cultural phenomena increasingly subject to computational procedures and logics. The presentation will address the inter-linked structures, outcomes and challenges of the two courses, in which students require to demonstrate reflective and critical thinking through coding practices.

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