Computational Culture

a journal of software studies

Article Archive

The Article archive
containes 35 entries

Incomputable Aesthetics: Open Axioms of Contingency

Abstract In 1931, Kurt Gödel determined the incompleteness of formal axiomatic systems by demonstrating that there are propositions that cannot be proved or disproved within the system in question. In 1936, Alan Turing showed that some functions cannot be computed, and thereby described the limits of computing machines before any such machine was built. In […]

What Do Metrics Want? How Quantification Prescribes Social Interaction on Facebook

Abstract The Facebook interface is filled with numbers that count users’ friends, comments, and “likes.” By combining theories of agency in artworks and materials with a software studies analysis of quantifications in the Facebook interface, this paper examines how these metrics prescribe sociality within the site’s online social network. That prescription starts with the transformation […]

Reflections on the MP3 Format: Interview with Jonathan Sterne

Used by hundreds of millions on a daily basis, there is finally a comprehensive study out on the MP3 audio standard. Sound theorist Jonathan Sterne not only describes the political economic background of how this technology came into being in the early 1990s but also provides the reader with an interesting history of sound and […]

Book Piracy as Peer Preservation

Abstract In describing the people, books, and technologies behind one of the largest “shadow” libraries in the world, we find a tension between the dynamics of sharing and preservation. The paper proceeds to contextualize contemporary book piracy historically, challenging accepted theories of peer production. Through a close analysis of one digital library’s system architecture, software […]

Field Report for Critical Code Studies, 2014


Field Report for Critical Code Studies, 2014 Over the past seven years since the publication of the manifesto on Critical Code Studies (CCS), 1 the early explorers have established that examining code using humanities-style interpretive methodologies is a valuable part of the analysis of software and programming culture and have shown the first signs of […]

Modelling biology – working through (in-)stabilities and frictions

Abstract Computational biology is a nascent field reliant on software coding and modelling to produce insights into biological phenomena. Extreme claims cast it as a field set to replace conventional forms of experimental biology, seeing software modelling as a (more convenient) proxy for bench-work in the wet-lab. In this article, we deepen and complicate the […]

No SQL: The Shifting Materialities of Database Technology

Abstract Information systems are material objects, but so too is information as it is manifest within them. Its specific materialities shape the forms of processing that it allows. Any account of what information is, or what it does within social, cultural, or institutional settings must, then, be grounded in an examination of these material considerations. […]

Divide and Share: Taxonomies, Orders and Masses in Facebook’s Open Graph

  Abstract The Open Graph protocol, introduced in 2010, has allowed Facebook to extend its reach far beyond the confines of the platform itself. It provides the basic technical infrastructure of connecting and sharing and encourages specific forms of analysis and usage. We argue that, if Facebook is to be conceptualized as a mass medium, […]

Not just another database: the transactions that enact young offenders

Abstract The paper draws on Annemarie Mol’s study of how a disease is a multiply enacted entity in the hospital to analyse how an electronic management information system (MIS) enacts subjects and populations as multiples. Its focus is the specificities of a MIS used by youth offending teams in England and Wales to join up […]

The Algorithmization of the Hyperlink

Abstract This study looks at the history of the hyperlink from a medium-specific perspective by analyzing the technical reconfiguration of the hyperlink by engines and platforms over time. Hyperlinks may be seen as having different roles belonging to specific periods, including the role of the hyperlink as a unit of navigation, a relationship marker, a […]

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  • Computational Culture – ISSN 2047-2390

    Computational Culture is an online open-access peer-reviewed journal of inter-disciplinary enquiry into the nature of cultural computational objects, practices, processes and structures.
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