Winnie Soon (HK), Vocable Code (13082018)

Vocable Code on a browser

Lecture-performance in six parts (pdf)

Flowchart, voices and instructions (pdf)

Vocable Code (13082018), Print front pages
Vocable Code (13082018), lecture-performance + stack introductions
Vocable Code (13082018), lecture-performance print spread (detail)
Vocable Code (13082018), mobile interface
Vocable Code (13082018) at Electronic Literature Festival, Montreal
Vocable Code (13082018) at Electronic Literature Festival, Montreal
Vocable Code (13082018) at Electronic Literature Festival, Montreal

Winnie Soon (HK) Vocable Code (13082018)

Vocable Code (13082018) is both a work of “software art” (software as artwork, not software to make an artwork) and a “codework” (where the source code and critical writing operate together) produced to embody “queer code”, examining the notion of queerness in computer coding through the interplay of different human and nonhuman voices. Collective statements and voices complete the phrase “Queer is…” and together make a computational and poetic composition. Through running Vocable Code on a browser, the texts and voices are repeated and disrupted by mathematical chaos, creating a dynamic audio-visual literature and exploring the performativity of code, subjectivity and language. Behind but next to the executed web interface of Vocable Code (13082018), the code itself is deliberately written as a codework, a mix of a computer programming language and human language, exploring the material and linguistic tensions of writing and reading within the context of (non)binary poetry and computer programming.

Vocable Code was first released in November 2017 as part of the Feminist Coding Workshop organised by !=null. Conceptually, the artwork was, in part, inspired by Geoff Cox’s book titled Speaking Code: Coding as Aesthetic and Political Expression. In the early 2018, Winnie Soon has collaborated with Geoff Cox to produce a lecture-performance on Vocable Code as part of the International Conference on Artistic Research: Artistic Research Will Eat Itself, where both the source code and concepts were read aloud to exemplify the speech-like qualities of a computer program. Vocable Code (13082018) expands with the web version and the book in collaboration with Anders Visti from ‡ DobbeltDagger.

Winnie Soon is showing an installation of Vocable Code at Centre de design de l’UQAM, Montreal from 13/8 to 17/8.

Winnie Soon is a Hong Kong artist-researcher, currently living in Denmark and working at the intersection of media art, digital culture and software studies. Her work specifically concerns internet censorship, data circulation, image politics, real-time processing, and the culture of code practice. Winnie’s projects have been exhibited and presented internationally at museums, festivals, universities and conferences across Europe, Asia and America. More info: