The project Menschen die Code schreiben
is based on a series of interviews
with people who write code. It aims to offer a complex insight into the motivation
and self-perception of people of all kinds who write code.
Overall view from the front
Directional speakers allow local hearing of a single interview while inviting to wander through the tangle of sound
I've asked 35 very diverse people the following three questions:
Why do you write code?
How does it affect you, that you write code?
How does it affect others, that you write code?
The installation tries to find a way to make their answers accessible,
as well as questioning itself and the meaning/relevance of the questions.
The floor is spacially labeled to allow navigating through the directional audio tangle.
It is also one of many measures to show that there was an opinionated curatorial process
determing which fragments have been selected or how they were grouped.
Labels on the floor below the directional speakers
Front: A list of questions on infinite paper / Back: the research office as part of the installation
A very long (although not infinite) list of
questions I've posed myself during the process of preparing, conducting, and
editing the interviews, as well as the installation itself - printed on continous form paper.
Ist die Frage "Warum schreibst du Code?" zu oberflächlich?
Sind die Fragen zu generisch um Menschen in einen wirklichen Reflexionsprozess zu lenken? Also sind am Ende vielleicht die Art und Formulierung mehr für die (mangelnden) Antworten verantwortlich als die (mangelnde) Reflektion der Antwortenden?
Wie beinflusst es die Interviewees in ihren Antworten je nach dem ob sie mich eher als Informatik-Student oder als Kunst-Student wahrnehmen?
Wie stark beeinflusst der persönliche Vertrautheitsgrad die Antworten?
Wie viel geht durch die Verwendung des convenience samples an möglichen Antworten / Bandbreite / Aussagen verloren?
Hyperscreenshot of the audio editing program
The installation tries to deconstruct it's own methodology as far as possible.
By showing how the material was organized, labeled, and what terminology was employed the
viewers are empowered to question whether they agree with the structure and what its
Further this allows observing clusters and tendencies of which topics are
talked about most and in what combination without reverting to a classical
As far as available, transcripts of the interviews were available to be read and studied.
They present an unfiltered, uncurated, alternative (original) naration
- which is more "authentic" but also very protractedand and thus harder to digest.
Full interview transcripts were available for viewers to engage further and do their own research
From my opening speech (translated):
How can I reflect the societal bearing of my curiosity on the one hand
and my moralism on the other? Both have a pedagogic claim.
But the key is to not indoctrinate.
Rather to present a methodology along the data. Because unlike my cut,
which conveys a personal view on the situation, the methodology allows to
recognize that very view, further to criticize it and ultimately to form an own view
- potentially on the basis of the exact same data.
Exhibited in the SpinLab
a start-up accelerator at Halle 14 (Spinnereigelände, Leipzig, DE),
the installation explicitly left the art world while staying at an arms length.
The scaffolding, as a mobile, temporary structure came into the start-up space
as a questioning visitor.
This was aimed to on the one hand reach people who
wouldn't usually enter a gallery and on the other hand to remain in constant
(visual) contact with the subject of the installation: people who write code.