The mailing list is up and running. You
should have received a notice of subscription. If you know someone
who should be on the list but isn't, please tell them to contact Sandy
at 695-6732 after 1 p.m.
We're working on ways to deal with the
wait list, so if you intend to drop the course before our first
meeting, please be sure to let us know so that folks who
are waiting and hoping to get in will know whether they made it.
Chapters 1 and 2 of Hackers, by Steven Levy.
downloadable. Click here. There will eventually be a link to the file from the
Resources page. There is no Resources page as
of today, so don't bother looking for it.
There may be an additional reading, if Jenn's Copy, at 26th and Guadalupe, can
have it ready in time. Watch this space for updates.
Come to class prepared to discuss the reading(s).
COMING SOON...like, next week...Resources and Links.
Hacking can refer to radical computer programming, but it's also a term with a wider reach.
In political art it's called detournement ("the theft of aesthetic artifacts from their contexts
and their diversion into contexts of one's own devise" (Greil Marcus)); in music and video
it's mashup, remix, fantasia, or variations; in sound, circuit bending; in amateur radio
and telephony, phreaking. Then there's gene hacking (Eduardo Kac's bunnies that glow in
the dark) and culture hacking or bricolage (the refunctioning, by societal "outsiders", of
symbols associated with the dominant culture, as in the appropriation of corporate attire
and Vogue model poses by poor, gay, and largely nonwhite drag queens" (Mark Dery)).
All of these are ways to describe modifying something to make it do things it wasn't meant
For our purposes, a hacker is "an inventive type, someone creative and
unconventional, a person who sees doors where others see walls or
builds bridges that others thought were planks on which to walk into
shark-filled seas. Hackers are alive with the spirit of Loki or Coyote
or the Trickster, moving with stealth across boundaries, often
spurning conventional ways of thinking and behaving. Hackers see
deeply into the arbitrariness of structures, how form and content are
assembled in subjective and often random ways and therefore how they
can be defeated or subverted. They see atoms where others see a
seeming solid, and they know that atoms are approximations of
energies, abstractions, mathematical constructions. At the top level,
they see the skull behind the grin, the unspoken or unacknowledged but
shared assumptions of a fallible humanity." (From "Hacker
Generations", by Richard Thieme.)