Coder le Monde
Centre Pompidou, Paris
– 27 August 2018
The exhibition entitled “Coder le Monde” presents the history of digital machines and their reciprocal influence on people and art.
It is impossible to imagine today’s world without a digital presence. The exhibition highlights our increasingly digitally dependent world in an aesthetic and critical light, always striving to interpret digital culture in many ways. Divided into six chronologically arranged sections, “Coder le Monde” shows the history of digital code, the origin of the algorithm, the link between music and code, digital literature, digital forms in design and architecture, and the interaction of body and code. Similarities of creative and digital logic in the different areas are examined, so that the visitor is presented with the most comprehensive picture possible of contemporary digital culture.
Starting with the invention of the first calculating aid, moving on to the 1642 mechanical calculating machine, to the Turing machine of 1936, selected groundbreaking inventions are on display. These did not only have a considerable influence on life in general, but also influenced the disciplines of art, literature, music, and design. Digital design processes emerged, poetry was no longer bound to the pen, but could now also be produced electronically, and musicians used algorithms to develop melody and rhythm. Recent developments in the digital world, such as a work by Berlin-based designer duo Certain Measures, who tackle the issue of transforming construction waste into a building resource as efficiently as possible, will also be shown. An algorithm calculates what could be built with the rubble, a big data computer develops new forms of design, and various programmes are used to search the city for gaps between buildings and to configure new buildings in such a way that they fit into both the social environment and into the space. The exhibition combines something new and astonishing with appropriate scepticism: will a big data computer soon be able to replace the skills of an urban planner?