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UCSD's SoftWhere 2008

Illustration for article titled UCSDs SoftWhere 2008

If you're going to be in San Diego and free next Wednesday afternoon, UCSD is hosting a public portion of their "SoftWhere 2008" at the UCSD campus Lots of people are involved (including names like Ian Bogost), and the public portion will be a rapid-fire format of quick presentations. A reception will be held afterwards. The full release is after the jump — I'll be taking the afternoon off to check it out:

Wednesday, May 21st, from 12:30-5:30pm, the Software Studies Initiative at

UC San Diego invites you to attend a public event:

SoftWhere 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 12:30-5:30pm

UCSD Faculty Club, Atkinson Pavilion

Reception to follow




Software studies is a research field that examines software and

cyberinfrastructure using approaches from humanities, cultural criticism,

and social sciences. The public session will feature a rapid series of

short presentations by key national and international figures in this

emerging field. The format is 5-10 minute speed-talks, modeled on the

popular "Pecha Kucha" format, in which each presenter is allowed a slideshow

of 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds. Attendees can expect a collage of

diverse perspectives on what it means to live in software society and how to

study it.

Off-Campus Participants:

Ian Bogost (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Geoff Bowker (Santa Clara University)

Benjamin Bratton (UCLA / SCI-Arc)

Matthew Fuller (Goldsmiths College, University of London)

N. Katherine Hayles (UCLA)

Matthew Kirschenbaum (University of Maryland)

Peter Lunenfeld (Art Center College of Design)

Mark Marino (USC)

Michael (Mateas (UCSC)

Nick Montfort (MIT)

Rita Raley (UCSB)

Casey Reas (UCLA)

Warren Sack (UCSC)

Phoebe Sengers (Cornell)

Doug Sery (MIT Press)

Chandler McWilliams (UCLA)


Campus Participants:

Lev Manovich (UCSD)

Noah Wardrip-Fruin (UCSD)

Jeremy Douglass (UCSD)

Amy Alexander (UCSD)

Barry Brown (UCSD)

Jordan Crandall (UCSD)

Kelly Gates (UCSD)

Brian Goldfarb (UCSD)

Jim Hollan (UCSD)

Stefan Tanaka (UCSD)

Geoff Voelker (UCSD)


Google searches and Amazon recommendations, airline flight paths and traffic

lights, email and your phone: our culture runs on software. How does

software shape the world?


Software is a layer that permeates all areas of contemporary societies.

Therefore, if we want to understand contemporary techniques of control,

communication, representation, simulation, analysis, decision-making,

memory, vision, writing, and interaction, our analysis can\'t be complete

until we consider this software layer. Social scientists, philosophers,

cultural critics, and media and new media theorists now seem to cover all

aspects of the IT revolution, creating a number of new disciplines such as

cyber culture, Internet studies, new media theory, and digital culture. Yet

the underlying engine that drives most of these subjects - software - has

received little or no direct attention. Software is still invisible to most

academics, artists, and cultural professionals interested in IT and its

cultural and social effects. But if we continue to limit critical

discussions to the notions of "cyber," "digital," "new media," or

"Internet," we are in danger of always dealing only with effects rather than

causes; the output that appears on a computer screen rather than the

programs and social cultures that produce these outputs.

Following on the first Software Studies Workshop organized by Matthew Fuller

(Rotterdam, 2006), the workshop SoftWhere 2008 @ UCSD is an invitation-only,

foundational event bringing together key U.S. figures in this emerging area.

The workshop will discuss what it means to study software cultures, and the

direction and goals of Software Studies as an emerging movement. Our goal is

for the workshop to result in publishing a founding statement on the field,

as well as initiate a set of interdisciplinary project collaborations. The

workshop will take place in Atkinson Hall, home of Calit2, a preeminent

research center for future computing and telecommunication, where the

Software Studies Initiative @ UCSD is located and currently collaborating

with researchers on several exciting projects. The workshop has also been

timed to precede (and coordinate with) the the HASTAC II conference which

will begin in nearby UC Irvine on the evening of Thursday May 22.


The majority of the workshop will be closed sessions, however, the Pecha

Kucha on Wednesday afternoon is open to the public. Seating is limited and

RSVP is required by May 19 to

The workshop is sponsored by Calit2, CRCA, HASTAC, UCDARNet, and the UCSD

Visual Arts Department.

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dont know if i want to attend this event...

I believe its going to be scorching HOT that day... =/

i probably be watching the Lakers Vs Spurs/Hortnets game instead..

So yeah, hope someone would be able to get this up on youtube or something [maybe even [] ... LOL ]