Software Studies Retrospective

Software-Studies

Matthew Fuller, Lev Manovich, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin

Friday, April 25th 2014 | 5:00pm | 8th Fl. 239 Greene St | See Map

Perhaps more than any other object, software structures our everyday engagement with digital media technologies. Software is the interface through which technology becomes accessible for the vast majority of users, and it is through software that we produce, consume, and understand the complex workings of technical systems. Software Studies is a discipline concerned with the critical study of software objects. First proposed by Lev Manovich at the end of his foundational book The Language of New Media, the field has evolved to include a number of divergent methods and practices. This event brings together three key scholars in this emerging field to reflect on how Software Studies has developed and changed over the past ten years, and to look forward to the future of this significant field of practice.

Matthew Fuller (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Matthew Fuller is David Gee Reader in Digital Media at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of Behind the Blip, essays on the culture of software (2003), Media Ecologies, materialist energies in art and technoculture (2005); and Evil Media (2012), as well as editor of Software Studies, a lexicon (2008).

Noah Wardrip-Fruin (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he co-directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, one of the world’s largest technical research groups focused on games. He also directs the Playable Media group in UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media program. Noah’s research areas include new models of storytelling in games, how games express ideas through play, and how games can help broaden understanding of the power of computation. He is the author of Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies (2009) and, along with Nick Montfort, editor of the foundational volume The New Media Reader (2003).

Lev Manovich (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Lev Manovich is a Professor of Computer Science at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Manovich published a number of books, including Software Takes Command (2013), Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (2005) and The Language of New Media (2001). He also directs Software Studies Initiative, co-founded with Noah Wardrip-Fruin, which combines two research directions: 1) study of software using approaches from humanities and media studies; 2) development of methods and new software tools to exploration of large cultural data. The lab’s latest project is SELFIECITY.

All three speakers are the co-founders of the Software Studies series, published through MIT Press.