Uncreative Design


Assigments / Assignment 3: Syntax Sans Syntax

Syntax highlighting (a feature of text editors that displays source code in different colors according to a set of rules) is a form of secondary syntactical notation. Since the highlights are not required by the code and do not impact the code’s meaning, they serve to reinforce it; but what happens when you strip away the code’s primary notation, leaving only its secondary notation? The form remains the same, yet the semantics of the code change drastically. No longer is it a set of computational instructions, but instead becomes a vibrant visual poem, complete with rhythmic stanzas. Although it remains visually similar to the original, the code takes on a different meaning.

Project page: Syntax Sans Syntax

Reading Responses / Reading Response Questions for Week 3

1. Goldsmith notes that an enormous part one’s identity is adopted from advertising. Is our design culture also adopted from advertising? If so, to what extent has it had an impact on the way we design?

2. When is designing for thinkership more important than viewership (and vice versa)? Is there such thing as a combination of the two?

3. What do you think of LeWitt’s decision to renege on his stance to allow anyone to freely copy his “recipes” due to the fact that many were poorly produced? Should the focus of LeWitt’s work be on the process or the end product? Should the craftsmanship of work following LeWitt’s instructions matter?

“It’s better, LeWitt suggests, if the artist makes deliberately uninteresting choices so that a viewer won’t lose sight of the concepts behind the work” (130).

Assigments / Assignment 2: Web Search History

Web Search History — A keyword journey from 9/2/13 to 9/24/13 showing a record of all 821 terms that I’ve searched for in the past 22 days.

Assignment 1 / Assignment 1: Caption Machine

For my machine, I wrote a JavaScript application that takes several trending photos from Flickr and assigns a caption to each at random from a list of descriptions used by game masters for use in role-playing games.

Response Week 2 / Reading Response Questions for Week 2

1. Does the value of a poem change when viewed as coded markup from a sent email? If so, in what ways does the transformation affect how the piece is valued and understood?

2. Goldsmith makes a distinction between textual data and textual information when discussing the searchability (or lack thereof) of a video file on his computer. Is it fair to make such a distinction or is it perhaps too human-centric? Is it the computer that does not understand what is happening in a particular video frame (because it cannot describe it in English) or is it simply us who do not understand how the machine interprets the textually-driven frame (in the language of binary)?

3. Is d├ętournement an ethical means of communication or is it inherently an act of malice against the original content creator?

“Our air is now chokingly thick with language posing as silence.” (52)