Automation, Representation, Transmission

Leuphana University, Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media, Lüneburg, DE

This course is a hands-on exploration of how the digital paradigm has collided with all aspects of society, from the sensory to the social. The course is structured as a series of workshops and tutorials, taking in, broadly the three dimensions of automation, representation and transmission. Topics of interest include Claude Shannon’s immensely influential theories of communication, data representations and encoding schemes that form the foundation for contemporary renegotiations of “old media”, information transmission protocols and algorithms of influence.

Along the way we will investigate historically significant publications and look at artists who have engaged with these topics.

In the decades since the early pioneering years of computing, the digital paradigm has grown from a tool for niche military and business applications to a true technological monoculture. In every aspect of life there has been a renegotiation of how information is represented and operated upon. It is worth considering what has been gained and what has been lost in the encoding of the world. The goal of this course is to develop an intuition about digital infrastructure, and the foundational knowledge necessary to confidently approach such questions.

Throughout the course we will be using the Python programming language as our tool of choice; however, this is not necessarily a course on Python. It is expected that students supplement in-class discussions and mentorship with an independent study of Python programming using the online resources specified during class (available for free online).

Category: Teaching