*.exe (ver0.1)

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Executions: conversations on code, power & death (version 0.1)

!! The event has been held successfully, thanks for all your participation. Photos HERE

Keynote presenters: Wendy Chun and Geoff Cox

Venue: Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) | Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6b, bygning 1630, Aarhus

When: December 3rd and 4th, 2015

Brief Description

This event investigates the cultural, material and political implications of execution. Software permeates our environment. We co-exist in an increasingly datafied present in which algorithms and abstract coded processes execute across different scales, materialising and operating at the micro and macro levels of our actions.

The aim of this event is to open up the concept of execution, both from a particular perspective of code and its execution, and more generally towards a wider discussion in relation to datafied culture and everyday life. How can we understand the affective, embodied, performative, programmed processes of execution in the world today? By gathering together researchers working with diverse artistic practices, we hope to encourage a critical curiosity and engagement with the theme of execution.


Topics will include:

execution as power / execution as decision / execution as performed instruction set / execution as enunciation / execution as critique / execution as temporal performance / execution as participation / execution as cruelty / indigestion/incorporation as execution / tuning as execution


In autumn 2015 and spring 2016, two-day events will take place (in Aarhus, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden respectively) that include keynote talks by Wendy Chun (Brown University) and Geoff Cox (Aarhus University), as well as workshops on the theme of execution.

These events are instantiations of an on-going discussion by the critical software thing group, a collection of researchers with a common interest in exploring, reflecting on and working with code.


The schedule for the event, held at Aarhus (Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies - AIAS), is as follows:

Day 1 PhD Masterclass [03.12]

Date: 3 Dec 2015 (08.30-18.00) @ Room 203

PhD masterclass on the theme of execution with Wendy Chun, Geoff Cox, Christian Ulrik Andersen, Søren Pold and Cornelia Sollfrank as respondents.

  • 08.30 - 08.55: Reception
  • 08.55 ­- 09.30: Round table introduction
  • 09.30 - 10.00: David Gauthier | THE POLITICS OF THE "COLD GAZE"
  • 10.00 - 10.30: Linda Hilfling | BUGS IN THE WAR ROOM : economies and/of execution
  • 10.30 - 11.00: Muldtofte Gestelev | THE DEATH OF THE USER
  • 11.00 ­- 11.20: SMALL BREAK
  • 11.20 ­- 11.50: Audrey Samson | Memory execution / immortal data
  • 11.50 ­- 12.20: Winnie Soon | At the time of execution: throbber.start()
  • 12.20 - 13.30: LUNCH (Lunch provided for registered masterclass participants + respondents)
  • 13.30 - 14.00: Fran Gallardo | A Tongue without Government; or the execution of life vs the life of execution
  • 14.00 - 14.30: Brian House | SOUND AND THE HEAT OF THE CUT
  • 14.30 - 15.00: Helen Pritchard | Toxic Execution: Critter Chips and the production of (surplus) value
  • 15.00 - 15.30: BREAK
  • 15.30 - 16.00 Molly Schwartz | MEMORY AS AN EDGE
  • 16.00 - 16.30: Eric Snodgrass | sites of execution
  • 16.30 - 16.50: SMALL BREAK
  • 16.50 - 17.20: Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard | Executing Pain as Sadistic Computing
  • 17.20 - 17.50: Magda Tyzlik-Carver | posthuman curating and its biopolitical executions

Day 2 Keynote presentations and workshops [04.12]

Date: 4 Dec 2015 (08.45-17.00)

  • 08.45 - 09.15: Reception
  • 09.15 - 09.30: Intro
  • 09.30 - 10.15: Open Keynote: TBD (to be determined) by Wendy Chun in Auditorium, AIAS
  • 10.15 - 10.45: Discussion
  • 10.45 - 11.15: BREAK
  • 11.15 - 12.00: Open Keynote: Critique of Software Violence by Geoff Cox in Auditorium, AIAS
  • 12.00 - 12.30: Discussion
  • 12.30 - 12.45: BREAK
  • 12.45 - 14.00: LUNCH TIME (Lunch provided for registered participants of PhD masterclass + respondents)
  • 14.00 - 15.15: Critical Software Thing (Led by Audrey, Lea, Winnie and Linda) - Open Workshop about software execution and death [max 12 participants - on site registration]
  • 15.15 - 15.45: BREAK
  • 15.45 - 17.00: Critical Software Thing (Led by Fran, Eric, Magda and Thomas) - Open Workshop about software execution and material culture [max 12 participants - on site registration]
  • 18.00 - 22.00: Evening dinner for registered masterclass participants + respondents


Keynote presenters:

Wendy Chun:

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Chair of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She has studied both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature, which she combines and mutates in her current work on digital media. She is author of Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT, 2006), and Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (MIT 2011). She is co-editor (with Tara McPherson and Patrick Jagoda) of a special issue of American Literature entitled New Media and American Literature, co-editor (with Lynne Joyrich) of a special issue of Camera Obscura entitled Race and/as Technology and co-editor (with Anna Fisher and Thomas Keenan) of New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader, 2nd edition (forthcoming Routledge, 2015). She has been a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and a Wriston Fellow at Brown. She is the Velux Visiting Professor of Management, Politics and Philosophy at the Copenhagen Business School; she has been the Wayne Morse Chair for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon, Visiting Professor at Leuphana University (Luneburg, Germany), Visiting Associate Professor in the History of Science Department at Harvard, of which she is currently an Associate. Her forthcoming monograph is entitled Habitual New Media (forthcoming MIT 2016).

Geoff Cox:

Geoff Cox is Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Culture, and Participatory IT Research Centre, Aarhus University (DK), currently engaged on a 3 year research project The Contemporary Condition funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research (with Jacob Lund). He is also Adjunct faculty Transart Institute (DE/US), an occasional artist/curator, and part of the self-institution Museum of Ordure. He is an editor for the DATA Browser book series (published by Autonomedia), and co-edited Economising Culture (2004), Engineering Culture (2005), Creating Insecurity (2009) and Disrupting Business (2013). He co-runs a yearly workshop/conference in collaboration with transmediale and is co-editor with Christian Ulrik Andersen of the associated open access online journal APRJA. With Alex McLean, he wrote Speaking Code: coding as aesthetic and political expression (MIT Press 2013), and amongst other things is currently working on a multi-author book project about live coding. For more details, see http://www.anti-thesis.net/

Organisers and Partners

Critical Software Thing / Aarhus Team: Winnie, Audrey, Lea, Thomas and Fran
Making Sense of Data research project
Digital Aesthetics Research Center, Aarhus University
Graduate School, Arts, Aarhus University
The Contemporary Condition research project
Calsberg Foundation
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies
The Centre for Advanced Visualization and Interaction (CAVI), Aarhus University
Centre for Participatory Information Technology, Aarhus University
Medea, Malmö University
K3, School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University