Understanding & enjoyment

non-linear relationships in code art & beyond

Ben Swift

20 May '20

we acknowledge and celebrate Australia's First Peoples on whose traditional lands we meet, and pay our respect to the elders past and present


part un: a complicated relationship

part deux: Ben codes the 80s

part trois: beyond enjoyment?


The code/creativity/culture (c/c/c) studio is a research & creative practice collective within the Research School of Computer Science. We exist to open up spaces for discussion about the way that code is shaping flows of information/culture/humanity in today’s (and tomorrow’s) world.


# a 3Ai twitter bot
for tweet in api.user("3AInstitute").timeline(limit=200):
  if tweet.user.location == "San Francisco":
    tweet.retweet_with_comment("I have so. many. questions.")

collaborative task 1 (5mins)

  • nominate a storyteller
  • at this point, we’re thinking in generalities

understanding & enjoyment

it’s complicated

3A3Ii: there are 3 “I”s as well as the 3 “A”s


How do we measure performance and success?

Technical systems have typically been measured on their efficiency. However, when systems start to learn and change their behaviour over time, the objective of efficiency may begin to clash with ideals that have previously been implicitly or tacitly inserted into the process by the humans in the loop. How do we start to conceptualise building for sustainability, for beauty, for values?


How will technologies, systems and humans work together?

In previous decades, we interfaced with computational systems through a screen and a keyboard. This paradigm is already being disrupted as ‘smart’ objects enter our lives. What will it mean when AI-enabled systems are all around us, sensing and responding to us? How to do protect our privacy? What happens to all that data?


Why has the system been constructed? by whom? and for what purposes?

It is sometimes tempting to think of a single, monolithic AI. However, AIs will be built for different purposes and with very different intentionality, and inside different larger systems. Making sense of, and mapping, that broader intentionality is central to the emergent new applied science.

collaborative task 2 (10mins)

design intervention: what scaffolding could you provide to move the needle on u&e in a livecoding gig?

  • context/staging
  • preamble/postamble
  • auxilliary sound/visuals
  • examples/guidelines

understanding & enjoyment

understanding & engagement

what can we learn about u&e for…

  • labour/automation
  • digital rights & privacy
  • democracy
  • platform economics
  • UBI

understanding & enfranchisement

what’s next?

these questions keep me up at night

if you’d like to help (or just to hang out with the c/c/c group more generally) then let me know 😊

creative-commons creative-commons-by creative-commons-nc creative-commons-sa twitter github vimeo envelope link