Critter Compiler

Pritchard, Helen. 2018. Critter Compiler. In: Helen Pritchard; Eric Snodgrass and Magda Tyżlik-Carver, eds. Data Browser 06: Executing Practices. (6) Open Humanities Press, pp. 237-251. ISBN 9781785420566 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter unravels how execution holds — in enduring states — semi-living microbes in sites of petrochemical waste. By referring to semi-living I am not signalling a life sustained through technological means (Catts and Zurr 2002), but a living constrained and held in injured states by computation. I ask what type of activity is this execu- tion that derives from injury and how we might speculate on execution otherwise?

Through ethnographic and speculative engagements with Critter Chips I will show how execution can be described as propelling semi-life, outlining how computation exploits the potential of microbial injury and death. I follow this with a discussion of the artwork Critter Compiler, a fabulation (Haraway 2013) that engages with contemporary microbial computing. Critter Compiler is a prototype for a microbial novella writer and a response to Rosi Braidotti’s call for experiments that “are non-profit and actualise the virtual possibilities of an expanded relational self that functions in a nature-culture continuum” (2013, 61). The artwork takes as its starting point toxic execution, and as a speculative experiment performs (or executes) these processes otherwise.

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Computational art, Media theory, Posthuman theory, Computational aesthetics, Creative research, Art practice, Critical software studies, Network theory, Feminist technoscience, Arts based research, Science and technology studies, Environmental humanities, Digital humanities

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1 September 2018Accepted

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Date Deposited:

22 Nov 2018 09:44

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:57


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