code::art journal

The 2012 book code {poems}, published source code in printed form, to "explore the potential of code to communicate at the level of poetry." It includes work from engineers, artists, and poets, with pieces informed by artistic and engineering modes as much as literary ones. However, the book's presentation has a decidedly literary approach, with a single typeface to unify the works, and no evidence of the programs' output. It has a single program per page, which aids with a purely textual reading of the work.

The new journal code::art shows that, while the line may be blurring between code art and codework among creators, there is still a divide in how these works are published.

code::art publishes pieces that "challenge our perceptions of what both [code and art] can look like." It is a glossy zine, with varying typefaces and page colors, and sometimes showing the programs' output. This less unified look makes the programs much easier to follow at the level of code, particularly the ones with syntax highlighting.

It also allows for a breaking away from purely textual pieces. Take for instance, "Ulysses" by Ken Lyon, an ink and wash transcription "in layered form" of chapter 23 ("Norsicaa") of James Joyce's Ulysses, the chapter which caused its banning. These choices allow code::art to more openly question what constitutes code.

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This entry originally appeared at esoteric.codes/blog/codeart-journal, and may be a summary or abridged version.