15. Most Inspiring Use of Code
School For Poetic Computation
With so many visual installations, it’s hard to select merely one highlight, but there was no better example of the “digital art” aesthetic Day for Night promoted than the School for Poetic Computation. The NYC-based collective curates 10-week, project-oriented classes that hone in on specific dialects and manifestations of backend-led art. Their DFN exhibit was a large two-screen display rendered digital sketches of artwork created by early pioneers like Vera Molnar and Bridget Riley, alongside many other revolutionary tech-art figures from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.
The left screen showed the artwork, which shifted at the whim of the right screen, which showed the raw code producing the artwork. Interestingly, the right screen brightly highlighted elements of the code that were being manipulated live, connecting the progression of images in a way that the programming illiterate (like yours truly) could understand. Thematically, SFPC’s pieces stayed true to the artists’ original ideas of visual tension, geometric manipulation, and the general beauty and mystery of computer language. SFPC aims to develop an appreciation for the endless capabilities of computer-generated, and finding the right poetry in a limitless world of algorithms is a daunting task. –Kevin McMahon