The Software Arts (2019) by Warren Sack

Are the arts at the center of software’s evolution?

The Software Arts (2019) by Warren Sack

The Software Arts (2019) by Warren Sack

In his new book, The Software Arts (MIT Press 2019), Science & Justice Affiliate, UC Santa Cruz Professor of Film & Digital Media, Warren Sack presents an alternative history of computing that puts the arts at the center of software’s evolution.

Warren Sack is a media theorist, software designer, and artist whose work has been exhibited at SFMoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, and the ZKM Center for Art and Media. Warren is an affiliate of the Science & Justice Research Center, Chair and Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Find out more in the campus news article: https://news.ucsc.edu/2019/08/sack-software-arts.html

Read also:

Book Release! Warren Sack on The Software Arts (MIT Press, 2019)

 

June 3, 2019 | Book Release! Warren Sack on The Software Arts

Monday, June 3, 2019

3:00PM – 4:30PM (Poster)

Communications 139, UC Santa Cruz

 

The Software Arts (MIT Press, 2019) by Warren Sack

The Software Arts (MIT Press, 2019) by Warren Sack

The Department of Film and Digital Media invite you to a book party to celebrate the release of The Software Arts (MIT Press, 2019) by Warren Sack, S&J Faculty Affiliate, Professor and Chair of Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz.

With his new book, Warren Sack provides an alternative history of software that places the liberal arts at the very center of software’s evolution. Sack invites artists and humanists to see how their ideas are at the root of software and invites computer scientists to envision themselves as artists and humanists.

The book is available at: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/software-arts

Overview

In The Software Arts, Warren Sack offers an alternative history of computing that places the arts at the very center of software’s evolution. Tracing the origins of software to eighteenth-century French encyclopedists’ step-by-step descriptions of how things were made in the workshops of artists and artisans, Sack shows that programming languages are the offspring of an effort to describe the mechanical arts in the language of the liberal arts.

Sack offers a reading of the texts of computing—code, algorithms, and technical papers—that emphasizes continuity between prose and programs. He translates concepts and categories from the liberal and mechanical arts—including logic, rhetoric, grammar, learning, algorithm, language, and simulation—into terms of computer science and then considers their further translation into popular culture, where they circulate as forms of digital life. He considers, among other topics, the “arithmetization” of knowledge that presaged digitization; today’s multitude of logics; the history of demonstration, from deduction to newer forms of persuasion; and the post-Chomsky absence of meaning in grammar. With The Software Arts, Sack invites artists and humanists to see how their ideas are at the root of software and invites computer scientists to envision themselves as artists and humanists.

Endorsements

“Warren Sack’s creative thinking across the arts and sciences has kept my cyborg on her toes, provoked again and again to test out how to reinvent practices for thinking, designing, working, and playing together for less deadly worlds. Sack’s historically attuned book investigates the folded zones linking the mechanical and liberal arts as new languages called programs have been built for emerging worlds. Rhetorics, epistemologies, and procedures are at stake in the digital media that shape and are shaped by the arts of computation. This is an important book about how things come to be in the workshops of the software arts that can never pretend to the separation of interpreting, making, and thinking.”

Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of  California, Santa Cruz

Book cover for Herman Gray Racism postrace (Duke, 2019)

Book Release! Racism Postrace (Duke, 2019)

Overview

With the election of Barack Obama, the idea that American society had become postracial—that is, race was no longer a main factor in influencing and structuring people’s lives—took hold in public consciousness, increasingly accepted by many. The contributors to Racism Postrace examine the concept of postrace and its powerful history and allure, showing how proclamations of a postracial society further normalize racism and obscure structural antiblackness.

Book cover for Racism Postrace (Duke, 2019)

They trace expressions of postrace over and through a wide variety of cultural texts, events, and people, from sports (LeBron James’s move to Miami), music (Pharrell Williams’s “Happy”), and television (The Voice and HGTV) to public policy debates, academic disputes, and technology industries. Outlining how postrace ideologies confound struggles for racial justice and equality, the contributors open up new critical avenues for understanding the powerful cultural, discursive, and material conditions that render postrace the racial project of our time.

The book and introduction are available at: https://www.dukeupress.edu/racism-postrace

Editor(s):

Roopali Mukherjee, Sarah Banet-Weiser, Herman Gray (UCSC Sociology)

Contributors:

Inna Arzumanova, Sarah Banet-Weiser, Aymer Jean Christian, Kevin Fellezs, Roderick A. Ferguson, Herman Gray, Eva C. Hageman, Daniel Martinez HoSang, Victoria E. Johnson, Joseph Lowndes, Roopali Mukherjee, Safiya Umoja Noble, Radhika Parameswaran, Sarah T. Roberts, Catherine R. Squires, Brandi Thompson Summers, Karen Tongson, Cynthia A. Young

Praise

“In this well-written, wide-ranging collection, imaginative and innovative researchers from across the disciplines conduct a post-mortem of the illusion of postracialism. Through case studies of the role race plays in diverse areas of contemporary culture, Racism Postrace takes stock of the continuing allure of the postracial despite its implausibility, but also of the ways in which its demise can point the way toward better and more effective imaginings of social justice.” — George Lipsitz, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics

“According to this stellar array of scholars, racism is alive, well, and thriving both in the United States and globally, and they offer important theoretical and empirical insights into why and how. This volume effectively dismantles the myth of postraciality, using a range of cultural forms and texts to demonstrate how racism rears its ugly head in the service of capitalism and white supremacy. Indeed, these essays tell us that the popular and common usage of ‘postrace’ neutralizes antiracist movements and props up antiblackness and other modes of racial and ethnic antipathy with devastating effect. This volume is a wake-up call to all who have luxuriated in the liberal fantasy of a democratizing media.” — Jane Rhodes, Professor of African American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

The Software Arts (2019) by Warren Sack

Book Release! Warren Sack on The Software Arts (MIT Press, 2019)

With his new book, Warren Sack provides an alternative history of software that places the liberal arts at the very center of software’s evolution. Sack invites artists and humanists to see how their ideas are at the root of software and invites computer scientists to envision themselves as artists and humanists.

The book is available at: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/software-arts

The Software Arts (2019) by Warren Sack

The Software Arts (2019) by Warren Sack

Warren Sack is a media theorist, software designer, and artist whose work has been exhibited at SFMoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, and the ZKM Center for Art and Media. Warren is an affiliate of the Science & Justice Research Center, Chair and Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Join the release party: Monday, June 3 from 3:00-4:30pm in Communications 139. (Poster)
Overview

In The Software ArtsWarren Sack offers an alternative history of computing that places the arts at the very center of software’s evolution. Tracing the origins of software to eighteenth-century French encyclopedists’ step-by-step descriptions of how things were made in the workshops of artists and artisans, Sack shows that programming languages are the offspring of an effort to describe the mechanical arts in the language of the liberal arts.

Sack offers a reading of the texts of computing—code, algorithms, and technical papers—that emphasizes continuity between prose and programs. He translates concepts and categories from the liberal and mechanical arts—including logic, rhetoric, grammar, learning, algorithm, language, and simulation—into terms of computer science and then considers their further translation into popular culture, where they circulate as forms of digital life. He considers, among other topics, the “arithmetization” of knowledge that presaged digitization; today’s multitude of logics; the history of demonstration, from deduction to newer forms of persuasion; and the post-Chomsky absence of meaning in grammar. With The Software Arts, Sack invites artists and humanists to see how their ideas are at the root of software and invites computer scientists to envision themselves as artists and humanists.

Endorsements

“Warren Sack’s creative thinking across the arts and sciences has kept my cyborg on her toes, provoked again and again to test out how to reinvent practices for thinking, designing, working, and playing together for less deadly worlds. Sack’s historically attuned book investigates the folded zones linking the mechanical and liberal arts as new languages called programs have been built for emerging worlds. Rhetorics, epistemologies, and procedures are at stake in the digital media that shape and are shaped by the arts of computation. This is an important book about how things come to be in the workshops of the software arts that can never pretend to the separation of interpreting, making, and thinking.”

Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of  California, Santa Cruz

Book cover for Reporting Inequality Tools and Methods for Covering Race and Ethnicity (Routledge, 2019)

New Book! Reporting Inequality (Routledge, 2019)

Reporting Inequality: Tools and Methods for Covering Race and Ethnicity, 1st Edition

Overview
Book cover for Reporting Inequality Tools and Methods for Covering Race and Ethnicity (Routledge, 2019)

Book cover for Reporting Inequality Tools and Methods for Covering Race and Ethnicity (Routledge, 2019)

Under increasingly intense newsroom demands, reporters often find it difficult to cover the complexity of topics that deal with racial and social inequality. This path-breaking book lays out simple, effective reporting strategies that equip journalists to investigate disparity’s root causes.

Chapters discuss how racially disparate outcomes in health, education, wealth/income, housing, and the criminal justice system are often the result of inequity in opportunity and also provide theoretical frameworks for understanding the roots of racial inequity. Examples of model reporting from ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, and the San Jose Mercury News showcase best practice in writing while emphasizing community-based reporting. Throughout the book, tools and practical techniques such as the Fault Lines framework, the Listening Post and the authors’ Opportunity Index and Upstream-Downstream Framework all help journalists improve their awareness and coverage of structural inequity at a practical level.

For students and journalists alike, Reporting Inequality is an ideal resource for understanding how to cover structures of injustice with balance and precision.

The book is available at: https://www.routledge.com/Reporting-Inequality-Tools-and-Methods-for-Covering-Race-and-Ethnicity/Lehrman-Wagner/p/book/9781138849884

Authors:

Sally Lehrman is an award-winning reporter on medicine and science policy with an emphasis on race, gender and social diversity. Her byline credits include Scientific AmericanNatureHealth, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Salon.com and The DNA Files, three public radio series distributed by NPR. Honors include a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, and the JSK Fellowship at Stanford University. She started and leads the Trust Project, a global network of newsrooms that is addressing the misinformation crisis through transparency. Sally is an affiliate of the Science & Justice Research Center.

Venise Wagner is a professor of journalism at San Francisco State University, where she has taught since 2001. She has a 12-year career as a reporter for several California dailies, including the Orange County Register, the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle. She has covered border issues, religion and ethics, schools and education, urban issues and issues in the San Francisco Bay Area’s various black communities.