Code, Desire and Conjuring: On the Magic Fabric of Contemporary Computing Technologies
Keywords:magic, language, desire, digitization, interface
In this paper I endeavor to bridge the gap between the concepts of magic and of digital technology. I do this by focusing on the intersection between the magic spell and software or code. By scrutinizing the interplay between the (magic) formula and the way it is performed in order to achieve a specific impact, it becomes possible to describe a close proximity of the magic formula with contemporary software. Today, digital machines and their relevant algorithms are almost exclusively seen in the light of a narrow rational and technical concept. Historically, the ‘use’ of technology is much more diverse, and I argue out of this perspective that it is time to historicize the working structure of digital machines in a way, that they can be embedded within the long history of magic conceptions.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Heiko Schmid
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