top of page
Constructing Codes, or How to Store a Thought in a Living Body
A code is a system of signs that enable us to confer meaning, often used in reference to language.  Code need not be language but it is symbolic and the paradox of code is that although the idea of code is a human construct, code is not uniquely human (see biosemiotic theory).  I have a fear of the word code: it represents something that I find difficult to contend with at times, particularly in a technological context, when code becomes increasingly layered and the original material increasingly hard to sense.  Then I look up the word code in a dictionary (more code) and see that a code is a rule.  A systematic collections of laws or statutes.  A set of conventions or moral principles.  A code is a means by which to determine something as something. Now I understand why I don’t like code.  It implies a rigidity, a fixedness that belies my chaotic existence and I want to find ways to bend it all out of shape.
How to store a thought in a living body:
  1. write it down on a piece of paper, chew it and then swallow it up (not very permanent)
  2. tattoo it on the skin (almost, but not always, permanent)
  3. encode it in DNA (permanent?)
bottom of page