Computational Ontologies

Leuphana University, Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media, L√ľneburg, DE

There is a supernatural quality to the lay experience of computing technologies. Like a poltergeist, computation inhabits material bodies of all imaginable forms, existing somewhere between the imaginary and material world. Of course there’s no magic here, only ideas and machines. In computation we find both a noumenal object and an immanent material. Perhaps that is the real magic?

Beginning with mathematical and conceptual formalizations of computation as an extension of logic and universal theories of machines, this course will zig zag via practical workshops across the increasingly (im)material strata where computation might be said to happen, and look at artists who have grappled with the strange ontology of the computable.

This basic knowledge will form the foundation for understanding the essential technological decisions, limitations and potentials that have constructed the digital as we know it, and should provide a springboard for further learning in digital hardware and software programming.

The goal of this course is to develop a foundational understanding of the material nature(s) of computation through a hands-on process of thinking, making and coding. Students will gain insight into various historical perspectives on computational ontology from artistic and mathematical sources.

There is a strong practical element to this class. As part of the course students will be expected to build confidence and skills in creation and creativity, using basic practical fluency in digital electronics and computer programming gained in class to produce a digital artwork.

Category: Teaching