Founded in 2013, the School for Poetic Computation is “an artist run school in New York” where “a small group of students and faculty work closely to explore the intersections of code, design, hardware and theory — focusing especially on artistic intervention.” Their mission:
“…is to promote completely strange, whimsical, and beautiful work – not the sorts of things useful for building a portfolio for finding a job, but the sort of things that will surprise and delight people and help you to keep creating without a job. However, employers tell us they appreciate this kind of work as well.
This is not a program to get a degree, there are large programs for that. This is not a program to go for vocational skills, there are programs for that. This is a program for self-initiated learners who want to explore new possibilities. This is a program for thinkers in search of a community to realize greater dreams.”
We need more schools like these.
Coding is seen as an art form by many of its practitioners. I’m reminded of the writings of Paul Ford on Ftrain. In Processing Processing, he confesses his passion “for languages like Processing—computer languages which compile not to executable code, but to aesthetic objects, whether pictures, songs, demos, or web sites.” I’m reminded of Paul Graham’s essay, Hackers and Painters. And I’m reminded of Vikram Chandra’s Mirrored Mind: My life in letters and code, a gift from a friend and a book I’m yet to read, whose blurb says “Chandra delves into the writings of Abhinavagupta, the tenth-and-eleventh century Kashmiri thinker, and creates an idiosycratic history of coding.”
This is a topic that merits a longer essay. Someday.