Software and Art


Rethread is an open collective of computer scientists, artists, and designers, in Stockholm (Sweden). Our work lies at the intersection between software technology, art, interaction design, sonification, and visualization, and focuses on the use of software as the material and medium for artistic creation. Our work is fueled by the interest to explore the dynamic nature of software from multiple perspectives, addressing its many layers; from the sublimity and detail of each execution to the societal and political impact it has on our lives.

Ci art hackathon

On October 14, 2019 I organized the first continuous integration art hackathon in reaktorhallen at KTH. Passionate and creative software students, software developers, artists, designers and curious citizens were welcome to join this software art event based on continuous integration data. All the participants were invited to dive into the extraordinary activity that occurs in a continuous integration server through visual and sound representations. They could display their ci-art pieces through speakers, 24 light fixtures or high-res video. The event attracted 60 participants who contributed as 23 teams; 17 teams performed their piece in R1 on that evening. I co-authored the gears ci art piece with J. Cabrera and E. N. Gustafsson.

This was the first software art event at KTH. It was featured in KTH news, as a short video, and a blog article (in Swedish). We prepared a remembrance video.

This hackathon was prepared during 4 months by an extraordinary team: credits for the ci art hackathon.


L3-37 is a mini web browser that superimposes a view of the strucuture of the web page on top of the actual page. Our goal is to unveil and embody the organization and dynamics of software that runs the world wide web. Citizens interact with browsers worldwide, every day and we wish to offer a glimpse of the other side of the looking glass of web pages.

This browser is developed as a tribute to the Web stalker.

code{strata} v2

code{strata} v2 is an artistic interpretation of code execution, based on the analysis of the execution of a ctrl-c ctrl-v in a simple text editor. We explore the different strata of the execution to render a visual embodiment of this complex tree of code instructions. For this second version, we have imposed as a condition to create a movable artwork. That’s why this project takes the form of a web application, bring up by an aesthetic so called plastic economy. The austerity of the work, by application of the concept of plastic economy, evokes, on the one hand, the coldness of the machine and, on the other hand, our desire to decomplex and not scare the visitor, gradually giving way to wonder at the sight of all the functions called for the execution of an action as simple as the copy and paste

Vizualizing the code strata: code{strata] 2019

Github repo: code

code{strata} v1

Code{strata} is an interdisciplinary collaboration between art and software researchers. This first version is a sound installation: a computer system unit made of concrete that sits on a wooden desk. The purpose of this project is to question the opacity and simplicity of high-level interfaces used in daily gestures. It takes the form of a 3-D sonification of a full software trace that is collected when performing a copy and paste command in a simple text editor. The user may hear, through headphones, a poetic interpretation of what happens in a computer, behind the of graphical interfaces. The sentence “Copy and paste” is played back in as many pieces as there are nested functions called during the execution of the command.

code{strata} v1 has been exhibited as part of the Arts Exhibition of the international conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions, in Stockholm in March 2018.

Github repo: code{strata}

Paper: code{strata} Sonifying Software Complexity

remix Subterranean DevOps

As part of a new DevOps course, we used the Google instant feature as an illustration of an advanced software feature that has most probably used the most advanced software automation when released. Google used Bob Dylan’s subterranean homesick blues to illustrate this feature. Following up on this feature, I remixed the clip’s visual to wrap up the software testing class.

video on the Internet archive: devops-dylan