Introducing Digital Alchemy

For the last few months I've been motivated by alternative learning communities; by the importance of understanding the coded systems around us (or by just reducing the gap between developers and users) and how this could enable us new scenarios.

That is how I ended up sending some emails to Jared about Hyperlink Academy and while taking the Meta Course decided to design a course on Digital Alchemy


I've been thinking a lot in data. Common word nowadays; we visualize it, we feed algorithms with it, we create it, we RELY on it but we don't even questioned what it is.

Or at least, myself.

Desiging the course:

These are the early stages of designing core components I wanted to include in the course, and possible analogies::


Some of the motivations I've talked about in the course-preview

After reading Computers Lib -Dream Machines and Tools of thought I started questionig my interaction with computers.

What if we, as users, don’t just use it as we are expected to? What other mediums can a computer give us?

I've seen great talks of Ange Albertini who introduced me to polyglots:'multiformat' pieced of information. Technique generally used for showing how corruptable files are, because of their lack of clarity in specifications. But instead of just corrupting files, why if we use it for making|showing art? And we will be revealing the unexpected. For example, if you play an image you start hearing music. Furthermore, if we could understand a little bit more what files are we could eventually use it for personal purposes. What if we took notes on the metadata of photos? Just as we used to write on the back of a physical photo.

After reading a lot on computation and carbon footprints, I wanted to explore creating art in a way I could manifest that we don't necessarily require fancy softwares/complex models that require lots of computation for creating pieces of art.

Learning loops and course artifacts

Once I had decided content and course's blocks. I designed a meta-structure, trying to put into practice the idea of learning by doing rather than telling.

So I thought it would be interesting thinking the whole course as a group of sessions. And each session would have the following three-section structure:


Creating two learning loops:

Sometimes virtuality can be weird for participation. That is why I thought it could be a good idea having the discussions in a live document and by the end of the course releasing a ☆゚.・。゚ zine ☆゚.・。゚ for setting down the process.


Instead of doing the activity, I made a demo themed on different topics we will be learning:

See pre-release course DEMO preview

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