Node 13: The Rules – Code and Software as a Shapeable Cosmoplastic Material

NodeLogoAbout the Actual and the Virtual – Ivo Schüssler at the Rules exhibtion. Photo: Johannes Scherg

NODE’13 – Forum for Digital Arts is currently well under-way in Frankfurt. Combining exhibitions, A-V performances, creative coding workshops, symposiums and lectures, the festival is heavily connected with the video synthesis tool-kit VVVV, and more so the community that revolves around it. Dataisnature has been consistently posting on projects made with VVVV [its software of choice] since 2005 – related links can be found at the bottom of this page.

Not content to solely mediate around VVVV, Node 13 actively seeks to explore philosophical and conceptual questions arising out of the melting pot of current digital art practices and creative coding as it did in previous incarnations. The current exhibition and symposium lay testament to the breath of work explored at Node as well as the many pertinent questions arising from the artistic use of computers, software and code.

Eno Henze, curator of the Rule exhibition:

‘The Rules’ investigates the correlation of working with ‘rules’ of the computer and the transformative processes in our society. We discover an interrelationship between the practical, aesthetical work with the computer and the alteration of our reality. This means a huge responsibility for the use of digital tools. ‘Generative design’ is not only a question of aesthetics and the search for a new ‘operating system society’, not only a question of politics.

Thinking of rules as shapeable, cosmo-plastic material is not new, but since the predictions of its early years (cybernetics) and the ‘practical illustrations’ of the 2000s a natural interpenetration of reality and digital rules has been established which gives new arguments to the discourse. The reflection on the ‘The Rules’ is divided into two complementary formats: an exhibition and a symposium with the same title.

NodeLogoFabricmachine [live] – Kathrin Stumreich. Photo Jeanne Charlotte Vogt

In two days theorists and artists of international renown will discuss the rules of the digital world and their influence on other sets of rules – society, biology or art. Which autonomous creative powers are prevalent in computers and how do they change our understanding of all the areas which are in a process of transformation by computer technologies? In addition to the philosophy of digital media, the focus will be on the relationship between code and consciousness, the theory of the ‘New Aesthetic’, the potentials of synthetic biology or the shaping of public opinion via social networks (liquid democracy)’

You can find more information on the ongoing synmposium, as well as detailed list of the speakers who are/have been involved here.

‘The Rules exhibition examines the rulesets of machines, humans and social organisations. The central topics are the rules of computers and their transformatory effects on the processes of our society. Software produces new ways of behaviour and new realities. This results in a critical responsibility when we are using digital tools, but also in new opportunities for design’

You can follow Node’13 happenings on the associated Facebook page and the Node Forum Flickr stream.


Numbercult – Triangulation Music
Aristides Garcia – Hexagrama [Metatronic Clockwork Sequencing]
NODE10 – Forum for Digital Arts
Mattia Casalegno – Dissipative Structures & Cartesian Thought-Forms
Eno Henze – The Human Factor
Enzo Varriale – Brainwave Maps & Abstract Surfaces
Realm of the VVVVertex
Computational Radiolarians & VVVVideo

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