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By Luciana Parisi

A suggestion that algorithms are usually not easily directions to be played yet pondering entities that build electronic spatio-temporalities.

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Additional info for Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics and Space (Technologies of Lived Abstraction)

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1, 2, 3). From this standpoint, insofar as any axiomatic method was incomplete, so too were the rules of computation. 27 16 Chapter 1 Software artist Alex McLean recently devised a program that addresses the problem of the limits of computation. 28 The Fork Bomb is a short section of code able to process a large number of algorithmic calculations, which very quickly saturate the available space in the list of processes kept by the computer’s operating system. The Fork Bomb shows how computational processes are slowed down by means of computational processes.

This is a closed, selfsufficient set of programmed instructions able to predict the future behavior of the system in terms of preset probabilities. On the other hand, second-order cybernetics suggests that biophysical indeterminacy or the contingency of environmental factors can open software programming to the modeling of dynamic systems that change over time and generate results that differ from initial conditions. It is not argued here that these two tendencies simply correspond to a historical shift, whereby algorithms are no longer to be understood as finite sets of data but as interactive instructions open to change.

Hansen’s objections to the computation of space can be seen as only one symptom of a more generalized critique of computational culture, which opposes codes, rules, and software programming to physicality, change, and indetermination. From this standpoint, biodigital computation must mean the biunivocal relation between mathematics and biology, the fusion of model and execution, the hybridization of the abstract and the concrete, algorithmic models and biophysical space. It has become evident, however, that the structural coupling between programs and bodies has meant an all-encompassing rejection of the reality of abstraction and of algorithmic objects.

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