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Warren Sack

University of California, Santa Cruz
The Software Arts
01 September 2015 - 31 December 2015
Digital humanities

Warren Sack is a media theorist, software designer, and artist whose work has been shown at SFMOMA (San Francisco), the Artport of the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), LABoral (Asturias, Spain), ZKM (Karlsruhe, German), the Impakt Festival (Utrecht, The Netherlands). He has been a visiting professor in France (at FMSH, Sciences Po, and Télécom ParisTech) and currently teaches digital arts and digital studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has a BA from Yale College and a PhD from the MIT Media Lab.

Research interests

Online public space and public discussion; social computing; software studies; software design; software art; media theory.

Key publications

Image, nombre, programme, langage in Digital Studies : Organologie des savoirs et technologies de la connaissance, FYP éditions, 2014.

Une Machine à Raconter des Histoires : De Propp aux Software Studies, in Les Temps Modernes, 2013.

Aesthetics of Information Visualization, in Context Providers: Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts, University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Discourse Architecture and Very Large-Scale Conversations, in Digital Formations: IT and New Architectures in the Global Realm, Princeton University Press, 2005.


The computer revolution can be envisioned as a “rewriting of the world.” Increasingly, in academia, industry, and government contexts, ideas are exchanged as computational models and software, rather than as printed prose documents. Software now constitutes a new form of logic and rhetoric, a new means of expression, articulation, and argumentation. I refer to this new era of thought and language as “digital ideology.” The Software Arts is a study of information technology as a technology of language and a refiguration of computer science as a language art. The book is an examination of computerization as a work of rewriting or, more specifically, as translation. The claim is that the software arts is a new name for something that has been ongoing for centuries: the pursuit of methods that provide us the means to invent and interrogate statements that can be or already are widely accepted as statements of connection, equivalence, or identity.

26 Oct 2016 17:00 -
26 Oct 2016 18:00,
Saint-Denis :
There is no immateriality. The function of arts in the process of exosomatisation
Communication de Warren Sack, résident de l'IEA de Paris
04 Dec 2015 16:00 -
04 Dec 2015 13:45,
Paris :
Taking Steve Jobs Seriously: Innovation and the Liberal Arts
Table ronde organisée par Gretty Mirdal, directrice de l'IEA de Paris
02 Dec 2015 14:15 -
02 Dec 2015 16:20,
Paris :
Celebrating Ada Byron Lovelace. Computing and Humanities
Communication de Warren Sack, résident de l'IEA de Paris
18 Nov 2015 11:30 -
18 Nov 2015 13:45,
Saint-Denis :
Code and Critical Theory
Atelier organisé par Warren Sack et Nachum Dershowitz, résidents à l'IEA de Paris
04 Nov 2015 09:00 -
04 Nov 2015 18:00,
Paris :
Software and the Digital Humanities
Communication de Warren Sack, résident de l'IEA de Paris
15 Oct 2015 13:50 -
16 Oct 2015 13:50,
Paris :
Work and Machine Languages
Round table organized by Gretty Mirdal, director of Paris IAS
Contemporary period (1789-…)
World or no region