The emergence of ‘creative code’ in the media arts and design has run parallel with a creative investigation of the materiality of digital media. Developing the author’s previous work on transmateriality, this paper considers material computing in the work of Martin Howse and Ralf Baecker. These works emphasise the mineral substrates of the digital computer, and seem to realise Friedrich Kittler’s proposal in ‘There is No Software’ (1995) for “sheer hardware” - a construct that taps the immanent connectivity of the material world. After tearing it down to primitive electro-mineral components, Howse and Baecker reconstruct computing here in a form that is both unfamiliar and timely; it not only affirms the materiality of computing machines, but shows that material computing entails a model of ‘distributive’ agency more complex (and contingent) than programmer and programmed.
Ralf Baecker - Irrational Computing