Kuckuck. Notizen zur Alltagskultur 1/21: “Code”

In the age of ubiquitous digital computer technologies and human-machine collaborations, code is experiencing a revival in various contexts: source codes, binary codes and algorithms; software, encryption technologies and cryptography; numerical codes, formulas and functions; (geo)mapping, biometrics or computational genomics.

Codes are attributions, representations and entanglements of information and meaning. They are relations and dependencies which they simultaneously co-produce. However, codes also enable practices of appropriation, counterdiscourse and reinterpretation or even become an end-in-itself in code art.

The 1/2021 issue of the magazine “kuckuck. Notizen zur Alltagskultur” focuses on code in its multiple forms, on its engineering and (de-)ciphering.

We are looking forward to abstracts and ideas for scientific/essayistic or artistic contributions until August 15th, 2020. Please send your Abstract to:

The deadline for finished papers and contributions is January 30th, 2021.


code as the new craftsmanship (tying it with cultural histories)

also the fact that software developmen kinda grew organically, as infrastructure needs appeared, more hands than brain

how is it similar? - style - useful artform - at some point, economic structure which enabled it - pleasure

how is it different? - mentorship (diffusion/acquisition of knowledge) - relationship with tools (communal rather than personal) - - therefore uncertainty as to what it does? (skilled labor vs. unskilled labor? is that a valid parallalel/distinction?)

why is it important/interesting? - appreciate code as a practice, with the learning models appropriate - alternative to monopolies with highly-skilled workers distributing information for less highly-skilled workers? (bootcamp vs. workshop? leaning online was the online workshop? but there is also the fact that only a few maintainers contribute actively on a project)

According to Risatti, technique in craft (a sum of technical knowledge, set of procedures or rules) and technical skill (motor skill) requires two kinds of learning: (1) technical knowledge of the materials and how they are worked to create objects (theoria), and (2) technical manual skill to work the material (praxis) (Risatti 2007). Craftsmanship, on the other hand he says, fuses theoria and praxis into poiesis with both abstract and practical material concerns. In this dialectical, dialogical process and feedback system of craft, thinking and making; visualizing and executing; perception and action; knowledge and manual skill go hand in hand (Risatti 2007, 169). Anthropologist Tim Ingold argues that skill exists within a system of relations between the maker and his or her environment; and is transmitted through practical hands- on experience not abstract descriptions (Ingold 2000, 291). While Risatti writes that craft involves technical knowledge and skill, and Ingold writes that skill is a virtue of relations between the mind, body, and environment, Sennett argues that technical skill involves making and repairing (Sennett 2012). According to him, repairing things comprise restoration, remediation, and reconfiguration. The long-term goal of this study is to develop this concept of “repair” and craftsmanship through the lens of computation.



certeau sennett uncle bob ruskin simmel []