CALL FOR PAPERS – Code as Craft (NMC Sponsored Panel at CAA LA 2012)

This is an open call for papers to present at the annual College Art Association conference in Los Angeles in 2012, at a panel sponsored by the New Media Caucus.

Code as craft: Programming in the art & design curriculum

Michael Salmond, Assistant Professor, Digital Media.

Proposals due to session chair September 30th 2011,
Final Papers due to session chair Dec 2nd, 2011

Prepare a 500 word abstract of your paper in Doc, PDF or RTF format.
Please send all abstracts via email to Michael Salmond at

Douglas Rushkoff argued in his book “Program or Be Programmed” that coding is now, more than ever, a vital tool for activists, artists, designers and students. We live in a digital world and the digital world is all about code. To those who know how to code, it sets them free and allows for greater realization of creative expression. It is one thing to use an application but quite another to be able to extend an application beyond its intended use. This session will explore the discourse surrounding the approaches in making coding an integral part of a new media curriculum. We will also explore coding from within the framework of art and design practice, from studio to industry.

The art and design approach towards programming often follows the hacker or tinkerer ethic; it is an approach that creates freedoms not restrictions. New Media is ideally situated at the crossroads of the creative arts and industry and to grow we must embrace this aspect of the medium. As practitioners we use software and hardware daily to realize our work, this session will examine why it is that in many undergraduate programs we ask students to take a language course but do not include programming as an option (python or C++ are languages after all!). Many digital art and design courses overlook or even ignore coding as part of the creative process, where arguably it should be at the core of the curriculum and taught in a way that makes programming as accessible as possible to students. The panel will explore best practices, successes and most importantly failures of programming in the classroom and generate suggestions for possible applications. As with any language, coding is a myriad and diverse affair, but at its heart all programming languages have one thing in common, they offer the ability for the individual or group to create deeper, richer artifact reflecting concepts and ideas in the digital realm.

This session brings together artists, designers and educators who utilize programming and coding as an integral part of their research and practice and will create a call to arms for new media educators and practitioners. It will discuss how coding has been embraced by some (best practices) and where approaches have been less than successful in an effort to promote code as craft into a wider curriculum within art and design.

This session is an opportunity for educators/artists/designers to showcase student work instead of / as well as their own in support of Code as Craft.

Possible areas or subject matter include:
– Coding an activism/hacktivism
– How much is too much for cut-and-paste code?
– Extending social platforms and media
– Integration of programming into the Fine Art curriculum
– Code as Craft – focusing code within a technology course
– Back end Vs Front end in Design
– Best practices/Worst Practices
– Methods and techniques for introducing coding to students
– Generative code/art
– Ubiquitous art/design projects
– Coding for fun and games
– Video game development
– Designing Experiences/Experience Design
– Human Computer Interaction
– Code in Music
– Interactive media design

If you have any questions of queries please feel free to contact panel chair, Michael Salmond. Digital Media Assistant Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers FL.

September 30th 2011.