Internet as a Platform, Programming as a Medium
Instructor: Mani Nilchiani Date & Time: Sundays: July 12 – August 26 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST

This Seminar will explore the constructive and expressive aspects of programming, and approaches the internet as a platform for building new systems and/or mediating between the real and the cybernetic. As the web matures, programming has become the most versatile means for the production of lucrative economies. Artists, on the other hand, have been expropriating programming as an expressive tool for artistic production and creative inquiry since the 1960’s, with pioneering exhibitions such as “Une esthétique programmée’” and “Cybernetic Serendipity”. In our networked world and post-software era, internet browsers have established themselves as the de-facto operating systems of the web; they run entire applications by acting as windows to remote clusters of massive computing power AKA “the cloud”. In this context, JavaScript, the native programming language of browsers, becomes an increasingly versatile instrument for creating and running small and large programs that can instantly be accessed over the internet across different platforms. understood in the context of art, JavaScript language has the potential to be used as a medium to create, experiment with, and instantly share and deliver works of art over the internet.

This seminar will be structured around 3 JavaScript programming projects, due by the end of the seminar. After introducing basic programming concepts in theory and practice, the participants will begin working on these projects evolving around concepts of a) simulation, b) algorithmic image manipulation and c) machinic vision. The framework for starting the projects will be provided to students as a point of departure in the first session by Nilchiani. Each seminar session will allocate time to instructor-guided hands-on programming. With an understanding of high level concepts, the class will focus on writing experimental software and examining the capabilities of programming languages.

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