Computer programming is a general-purpose way of using computation. It can be instrumental (oriented toward a predefined end, as with the development of well-specified apps and Web services) or exploratory (used for artistic work and intellectual inquiry). Professor Nick Monfort’s emphasis in this talk, as in his own work, is on exploratory programming, that type of programming which can be used as part of a creative or scholarly methodology. He says a bit about his own work but uses much of the discussion to survey how many other poet/programmers, artist/programmers, and scholar/programmers are creating radical new work and uncovering new insights.
Nick Montfort is Professor of Digital Media at Comparative Media Studies/Writing. He develops computational poetry and art and has participated in dozens of literary and academic collaborations. Recent books include The Future and Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities (MIT Press) and several books of computational poetry: Hard West Turn, The Truelist, #!, the collaboration 2×6, and Autopia. He has worked to contribute to platform studies, critical code studies, and electronic literature.