Promiscuous pipelines

Promiscuous Pipelines was a worksession about modularity in software processes that took place from 31 August to 5 September 2015 in FoAM in Brussels.

Universalism is not rejected but particularized; what is needed is a new kind of articulation between the universal and the particular’ (Chantal Mouffe in: The Return of the political, 1993)

In computation, a ’pipe’ is a method to enable various software modules to connect to each other, where the output of one program is treated as the input for the next program. ’Pipes’ form the basis of The Unix philosophy, a perspective on software production where multiple task-oriented tools can be chained together to make seemingly endless software combinations possible. While interchangeable and flexible, the assumption that each element should be optimised to ’Do One Thing and Do It Well’ leads to a rather predictable and ultimately normative set. If each tool is designed to be used in any context by anyone at any time, what about situated knowledge? How can we imagine modularity, knowing that software processes are inherently leaky and contextual?

This worksession was developed by Femke Snelting in collaboration with FoAM.

Participants: Agustina Andreoletti, An Mertens, Anne Laforet, Bash, bolwerK, Christoph Haag, Eleanor Saitta, Femke Snelting, Foam, Gijs de Heij, Gottfried Haider, Marthe Van Dessel, Martino Morandi, Michael Murtaugh, Nik Gaffney, Øyvind Kolås, Pierre Marchand, Simon Yuill, Sophie Toupin, Wendy Van Wijnsberghe, Zeljko Blace.

Worksession program

Pictures of the worksession:

Experimental publication:

@ foAM, Koolmijnkaai 30-34, Brussels