Keyword: Programming


Promiscuous Pipelines / Constant

„In computation, a ’pipe’ is a method to enable various software modules to connect to each other, where the output of one program is treated as the input for the next program. ’Pipes’ form the basis of The Unix philosophy, a perspective on software production where multiple task-oriented tools can be chained together to make seemingly endless software combinations possible. While interchangeable and flexible, the assumption that each element should be optimised to ’Do One Thing and Do It Well’ leads to a rather predictable and ultimately normative set. If each tool is designed to be used in any context by anyone at any time, what about situated knowledge? How can we imagine modularity, knowing that software processes are inherently leaky and contextual?“

„ is a platform for algorithmic literature. was designed around the following question : “What would an algorithmic literary writing tool look like?” … Many excellent “e-lit” tools, languages and libraries already exist for algorithmic literature (cf. Twine, RiTa, Fungus, …). Many of these tools, however, do not focus on the writing act, and require using development tools during the actual process of writing. … For the platform, we instead focused on a writing tool that a poet might find compelling, and would therefore evolve out of an interface dedicated to the modular written word. As the research project evolved, our goal slowly evolved into a writing tool for text-based algorithmic literature, associated with a “programming language for poets” named AutomaticWriting<>.“

ThingLab (1978) / Alan Borning

One of the first constraint-oriented simulation programs.

Video Demo
Online Version

Apparatus / Toby Schachman

„… is a hybrid graphics editor and programming environment for creating interactive diagrams.“

Hamlet / Doug 50

Group project to develop a new software system based on Doug Engelbart’s ideas for the 50th anniversary of the demo of 1968.

transCoder / Zach Blas

„Queer Programming Anti-Language“


Early spreadsheet software, to be considered the first „killer app“ for Personal Computing and the first application that convinced people to invest in whole systems (the Apple II). First software that went through a whole software career cycle, until its decline fueled by competitor „Lotus 1-2-3“. Also notable for its good documentation at that time.

Ted Nelson / Concepts & Prototypes

1965, Side-by-side connected comparison of parallel documents

1972, Transpointing windows

1999, PYXI viewer by Ka-Ping Yee

2014, OpenXanadu by Ted Nelson and Nicholas Levin

Key concepts
Xanalogical structure
Parallel documents / Transpointing windows
Deep links
Deep versioning and re-use (transclusion)

JS implementation of Stretchtext
ZigZag database system

Entropy / Daniel Temkin

„Entropy is a programming language about giving up control. All data decays as the program runs: each value alters slightly every time it’s used, becoming less precise.“

Also „New Languages“


„The objective of allRGB is simple: To create images with one pixel for every RGB color (16777216); not one color missing, and not one color twice.“

Estimote Beacons

Wireless sensor stickers for context aware applications. Considering the fundamental messiness of infrastructures and the procedural simplicity of the functional programming I imagine some interesting side effects if these things move around unintentionally, become trash and create a messy hyper-context, where you loose sight of what reacts to what. Maybe a question of context-aware ubiquitous applications in general.

Scream /

„Scream sits quietly in your computer’s system tray and automatically springs into action when it detects a scream. Scream disturbs your Windows interface. […] When your throat gets tired, Scream can double as an unusual music visualizer – or as a new approach to desktop filmmaking. Use Scream to start a meme. Or simply as a random act of deprogramming.“

Tickle / Alex Cornell

Concept for an app that helps to avoid awkward situations by generating phantom phone calls. An ambivalent approach for technical support in social ambiguous situations?

Drawing Dynamic Visualizations / Bret Victor

Talk demonstrating the concept and prototype of a software tool for creating parameterized graphics. Blend of programming and graphics.

Additional Notes

Glassified Ruler / MIT Media Lab

Digitally augmented physical tool.

Notes for a Liberated Computer Language / Alex Galloway, Eugene Thacker

„We worry about the imaginary, supplemental alphabets starting with letter twenty-seven. This is the impulse behind our notes for a liberated computer language, to re-introduce new noisy alphabets into the rigid semantic zone of informatic networks. […] We consider there to be little difference between living informatic networks and the universal informatic languages and standards used to define and sculpt them. If the languages are finite, then so, unfortunately, are the life possibilities. Thus a new type of language is needed, a liberated computer language for the articulation of political desires in today’s hostile climate of universal informatics.“ („The Exploit: A Theory of Networks“)

interface / Ralf Baecker

„… camera and monitor function as a mirror that links the images of the viewers. […] The software, which runs between camera and monitor, attempts to re-construct each face from image fragments of the other. The image of one face cannot be realised without the other and vice versa.

See also other works about materiality, aesthetics and potential of digital technologies:

The Simple Act of Making a Mark / Alan Rorie

Machine generates shapes and tries to recursively imitate them, creating an endless process of effort due to the inevitable tolerances.

Bicycle for Two Thousand / Aaron Koblin, Daniel Massey

…is comprised of over 2,000 voice recordings collected via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk web service.

Luna Maurer

Questions digital tools in the design process, relationship human and machine, freedom and limitations. She designes systems with defined limits and rules to create space for unexpected things (Conditional Design Collective).
Other topics: creation of own digital tools, co-design with algorithms, man-machine-friction/-adaption, productive glitch and space for imperfection in digital technologies. (see interview e.g.)


„New image file formats for artistic purpose.“

9/11 Memorial Name Layout

The names of the victims of the terror attack on the memorial site are ordered with the help of custom software by their relationships (family, friends, colleagues together). Relatives could influence the final layout. The arrangement should reconstruct the „social net“ of the victims.

This Exquisite Forest

Collaborative online development of animations with alternative narrative paths. Tree as interface metaphor.

Syntopic Fragments / Jens Wunderlich

„…combinations of image and text from different authors, linked by a place on earth – fragments of a collective local memory.“

Superstitious Fund Project / Shing Tat Chung

A trading algorithm based on superstition (moon phases, numerology). An objectively subjective apparatus.

Google / Felix Heyes, Ben West

„This book contains the first Google image result for every word in the dictionary.“

Taswir Atlas

Digital image atlas following ideas of Aby Warburg and Walter Benjamin, focused on objects of non-western culture. Not very rich of material.

„…for the display an open number of artifacts, objects and positions that may enter via an edited matrix of attributes into variable, unpredictable, and dynamic relations with each other.“

Myriahedral Projections

„A myriahedron is a polyhedron with a very large number of faces. For this reason, we call the results myriahedral projections. In step 2 and 3, this myriahedron is cut open and unfolded. The resulting maps have a large number of interrupts, but are (almost) conformal and conserve areas.“


Research project about the possible role of networked images in the sciences. A system to assamble, categorise, annotate and link images wants to explore new forms of working with images in other scientific contexts than in art history. Some examples on the website.


Barcode Interpreter / Lauran Schijvens

Translates barcodes in output signals on an array of power sockets, where you can connect all kinds of electronical devices.

Spike Solutions / Jacob Niedzwiecki

Generative compositing technique. Different moments in time composed in a video grid.

Pattern Language / Christopher Alexander

A collection of 250 situations / scenarios / pattern of problems in architecture and urban planning. Images, texts and diagrams explain each situation and propose solutions. Structured in three parts from macro to micro (towns, buildings, construction). Meant as an instruction of modular solutions with the effort to enable more lively, integrated and beautiful architecture.

Poetry Machine / David Link

Videorative Portrait / Sergio Albaic

Tool for drawing with tagged video content to create a dynamic networked image.

Jonathan Puckey

Strong usage of generative techniques and self made tools in graphic design projects. Co-responsible for Scriptographer.

extracts of local distance / FELD

Algorithmically extracted and combined elements of architectural photographs creates new images/interpretations of spaces.