The double aspect of code | osp blog

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The double aspect of code


"Neurath's pictograms owe much to the Modernist belief that reality may be modified by being codified – standardised, easy-to-grasp templates as a revolution in human affairs. But the templates themselves, or the code, may end up in their turn aestheticised, reified, in need of a further round of de-cryption, a paradigm common also to failed revolutions. It is this double aspect of code as invisible, totalising system and an apparent mechanism for intervening in it, and the constant relay between them that opens this specious dichotomy onto a wider social history (...)"

Marina Vishmidt in: The Dutch Are Weeping in Four Universal Pictorial Languages (Mute, May 2007)