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 published recently “Image, nombre, programme, langage” (Digital Studies : Organologie des saviors et technologies de la connaissance, FYP éditions, 2014) and “Une Machine a Raconter des Histoires: De Propp aux Software Studies,” (Les Temps Modernes, novembre-décembre 2013).
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.