Contemporary communication puts us not only in conversation with one another but also with our machinery. Inspired by this drastic shift, Finn Brunton, Paula Bialski and me looked at what ‘to communicate’ means in a time in which we communicate not only with one another but also with our machines, and the series I co-edit with Wendy Chun, Timon Beyes and Götz Bachmann, In Search of Media, published it (University of Minnesota Press/ meson press).
The lovely text Finn Brunton wrote brings the alienness of computational communication to the fore by looking at network timekeeping, automated trolling, and early attempts at communication with extraterrestrial life. My text follows from there, picking up Finn’s fascination with inhuman communication to perform a close reading of interaction design and interfaces by asking: how does to technology addresses us humans (spoiler alert: as very young children). Finally, Paula Bialski shares her findings from a field study of software development, analyzing the communicative forms that occur when code is written by separate people.