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Taking our departure from the use of diagrams in our book Aesthetic Programming (Soon & Cox 2020), the workshop explores diagramming as research method and experimental practice, as a way to spatialise, imagine and render relations between ideas that are simultaneously concrete and abstract.
As a form of visual knowledge, diagrams are broadly understood as representational resources useful for their problem-solving and explanatory capabilities, helping to define, communicate and illustrate problems and possible solutions. Flowcharts, for instance, have been used as tools since the early days of computer programming to communicate complex logic, and/or to visualize the steps to solve computational problems and further act as a schematic for later programming tasks. But what about their potential to operate outside of representation, as tools for problem-posing rather than problem-solving? Here we come close to theorising the diagram as an ‘abstract machine’ – a material assemblage of marks and lines of thought, a map of dynamic relations, where different knowledges collide (to paraphrase Deleuze). As such it might be tempting to dismiss graphical visualisation software as lacking this speculative and conceptual dimension. Yet, instead of privileging one tendency over the other, we are interested in combining these different ideas and approaches in this workshop, and to consider the potential of software as coming closer to a drawing practice. In this way, more like a sketch, the diagram becomes a means to scramble knowledge that is pregiven, to allow for the unknown to emerge, and to suggest further lines of research inquiry.
In the workshop, we will use pencil and paper as well as the collaborative coding platform HackMD and visualization software Graphviz. Some preliminary reading is listed below, and we ask participants to come with a written outline of their research projects.
By Geoff Cox and Winnie Soon
The workshop is free and open to all previous registration ( 15 participants max).
The specific covid-19 related regulations (2G+) for events at UZH apply. This means particiants on site must show a valid covid certificate of vaccination or recovery and wear masks during the event.
The workshop will take place on Thursday Feb 10th At the University of Zurich Central Campus in room RAA-G-01 Aula klein, located at the Kunsthistorisches Institut KHIST in Rämistrasse. The workshop will be streamed, but emphasis is put on physical presence.
If you’d like to participate, please write us an email to info[at]dvstudies.net
Simon O’Sullivan, “On the Diagram (and a Practice of Diagrammatics),” in Karin Schneider and Begum Yasar, eds., Situational Diagram (New York: Dominique Lévy, 2016), 13-25. Available at https://www.simonosullivan.net/articles/on_the_diagram.pdf
Johanna Drucker, Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production. MetaLABprojects (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2014). Available at https://monoskop.org/images/2/2a/Drucker_Johanna_Graphesis_Visual_Forms_of_Knowledge_Production.pdf
Winnie Soon and Geoff Cox, “Algorithmic Procedures,” in Aesthetic Programming (London: Open Humanities Press 2020), 211-225. Available