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Musicologists and software scientists collaborate to reveal the beautiful and complex code strata that underlie software applications.

Software is, by nature, invisible, yet it is omnipresent in our lives. This pervasiveness of software is the result of organic and decentralized processes. A growing number of companies and individuals have contributed to the development and aggregation of millions of software pieces. The assembly and coordination between all these pieces relies on a flexible hierarchical organization of software and a stratfied organization of the code.

This interdisciplinary project, aims at building visual and sound devices that reveal these code strata to an audience as large as possible. Stratigraphy reveals the beauties of geological or ecological structures. Inspired by these natural wonders of structure and complexity, we want to restore a more tangible relation between users and the software world through artistic representations.

ctrl-c ctrl-v

We choose to focus first on the strata of ctrl-c ctrl-v, an iconic action that symbolizes the major impact of software on all sectors of our societies. We deconstruct all the code that has been stacked to provide this action in almost any software tool. We choose an open source text editor to pursue this deconstruction of code strata. The choice of open source code is essential for us since it provides an access to all strata, but also to the origin of these strata.

Music, light and software

Music and light share the characteristics of invisibility and abstraction with software. Despite the fundamental differences in the nature of these objects (music and light are perceived through a combination of waves and neuroprocessing, while software results from the interactions of signals on digital processor), we believe they fit the purpose of representing code complexity in artistic devices.

code{strata} (2019)

This is the second artwork of code{strata}, produced by Justine Fortier, Nicolas Harrand and Oscar Luis Vera Pérez.

Our aim is to highlight all the complexity and structures behind our intuitive and streamlined graphical interface to see the beauty that emerges.

For this second version, we have imposed as a condition to create a movable artwork. That’s why this project took the form of a web application.

Visit code{strata} (2019).