Call for Students: Code Societies

  • Three-Week Session, Monday January 7th - Saturday January 26th
  • SFPC, 155 Bank street, West Village, NYC
  • 6:30pm - 9:30pm, Evening Classes
  • Apply now!, competitive rolling admissions.

SFPC’s Code Societies, our winter intensive session, will examine the ideological and corporeal attributes of computation; concentrating on the poetics and politics of culturally embedded software. How do different platforms and processes — including algorithms, data collection, social media, infrastructure, and interface — yield distinct modes of seeing, thinking, feeling, and reinforce existing systems of power? Through a balanced study of critical theory discussion and hands-on coding workshops, students will create small projects that explore and question these ideas.

No coding experience necessary; only enthusiasm and willingness to reconsider how code shapes and is shaped by society. The session will begin with a brief introduction to programming with Python and navigating the command line.

Central to Code Societies is understanding technology as culture and culture as social technology. Students are encouraged to engage with code and the ways code acts on our bodies and networks equally as subject and as medium. Code Societies is both this session’s subject and it’s prompt; an invitation to consider coding and choreographing new ways of being in relation with each other. Student’s should expect to develop several small scores or sketch pieces that may exist online, on screens, be performed, or installed.

Who are the teachers?

  • Melanie Hoff (2 Classes - Lead Organizer, On-Site Support) - Artist and educator examining the role technology plays in social organization and reinforcing hegemonic structures. They write software, create experimental workshops, and teach at Rutgers University, the School for Poetic Computation, and are a founding member of the Cybernetics Library.
  • Allison Parrish (2 Classes) - Allison is a computer programmer, poet, educator and game designer whose teaching and practice address the unusual phenomena that blossom when language and computers meet. She teaches at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.
  • Ingrid Burrington (2 Classes) - Ingrid Burrington writes, makes maps, and tells jokes about places, politics, and the feelings people have about both. She’s the author of Networks of New York An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure. Her work has been supported by Eyebeam, Data & Society, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation.
  • American Artist (1 Class) - American is an interdisciplinary artist whose work extends dialectics formalized in Black radicalism and organized labor into a context of networked virtual life. Their practice makes use of video, installation, new media, and writing to reveal historical dynamics embedded within contemporary culture and technology.
  • Taeyoon Choi (1 Class, Session Advisor) - Taeyoon is an artist, a co-founder of School for Poetic Computation, a former fellow at Data and Society and an adjunct professor at NYU ITP. In 2018, Taeyoon is working on Distributed Web of Care and ongoing research with a critical perspective towards technology, ethics, justice and sensitivity to the concept of personhood.
  • Everest Pipkin (1 Class) - Everest is a drawing, language and software artist whose work follows landscape as complicated by the advent of digital space. They produce intimate work with large data sets.
  • Dan Taeyoung (1 Class) - Dan is a designer, researcher, and a teacher. He is interested in how cooperative practices and spatial environments change the way we think, collaborate, and learn with each other. He teaches at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.
  • Nora Khan (1 Class) - Nora Khan is a writer. Her criticism focuses on digital visual culture, the philosophy of emerging technology, and experimental art and music practices that make arguments through software. She is on the Digital and Media faculty at Rhode Island School of Design, where she teaches several courses: critical theory and artistic research, critical writing about art and technology, and history of media art. She is a longtime editor at Rhizome, an editor of Prototype, a book for Google’s Artist and Machine Intelligence group, and has published in 4Columns, Rhizome, Art in America, Flash Art, Mousse, California Sunday, Spike Art, The Village Voice, Glass Bead, and many other places.
  • FlucT (1 Class) - FlucT is the collaborative work of two artists, Sigrid Lauren and Monica Mirabile, who address issues in the capital obedience of American culture through choreography and performance. Creating original narrative soundscapes linking a manipulated pop music psychosis with violently intimate dance, their composition is a projection driven to expose the psychology of this social paradigm. FlucT’s work has been widely reviewed and they founded Otion Front Studio, a performance/dance space in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Sigrid Lauren & Monica Mirabile

  • 15 class days in total with a final presentation. More teachers and speakers to be announced!

What will happen in these three weeks?

Classes are held in the evenings Monday-Friday from 6:30-9:30pm with a day off on Martin Luther King Day January 21st. SFPC space will be open for students on weekdays between 4pm-6pm. The session will culminate in a party on the evening of Saturday January 26th, where students can invite their friends and present their favorite projects.

Students will have full access to the space during open hours for the three weeks of the session to work on projects between classes and mentors will be readily available for technical, conceptual, and artistic guidance.

Read blog postings from Code Societies 2018

How do I apply?

Apply now!

We accept up to 18 students on a rolling basis. We will respond to your application within 3 weeks of submission. Rolling admissions means there are fewer and fewer slots the longer you wait, so if you’re interested in the program get your application in early!

How competitive is the admissions?

SFPC admissions is highly competitive. Every session, we receive up to 80 applicants and select 18. We focus on creating diversity among our student body. We work with a group of alumni and teachers to review and select students based on their work samples and essays.

How much is tuition?

$3,000 USD for the 3-week program. You’ll also need to cover your own cost of living, including housing and meals (recent alumni report this to be in the range of $800 - $1400). Upon acceptance, payment of full tuition, your space in the class will be reserved. SFPC tuition goes directly to paying for the teachers, organizers, materials and space that make sessions like this possible.

Do you offer scholarship?

We are completely self-funded, which dramatically limits our ability to offer scholarships. In Code Societies, we are offering three work-study opportunity to a qualified applicant who would be expected to work 5 hrs/week in exchange for a 50% reduction of tuition. We’re particularly looking out for women, people of color, disabled person, people under-represented in the field of art + technology, and those with financial need.

Please note that if you apply for work study, we will consider your application separately from the general admissions applications, since we have little flexibility regarding scholarships. This is for people who absolutely need assistance to participate in SFPC. Occasionally, students have received support from cultural foundations, schools or current employers and we are happy to provide supporting materials as proof of acceptance.

Cancellation and refund policy

  • If you are accepted and need to cancel, we can give you 100% refund up to December 15th, 2018.
  • 50% refund between December 15th – December 31st, 2018.
  • 25% refund between January 1st – January 6th, 2018.
  • No refunds can be given after the first day of class.
  • Participation is not transferrable to another person.

What is expected of me?

  • Come to all classes and thoughtfully engage with your classmates and teachers.
  • We are looking for autodidacts from all backgrounds who are curious, generous and open.
  • We welcome students with a broad array of technical experiences–no coding experience is required, but a basic comfort level with technology is preferred.
  • B.Y.O.Laptop (Mac / PC / Linux)

Where is SFPC?

We are located in 155 Bank street, in the courtyard of the Westbeth Artists Community in the West Village, New York City.

Contact Us

Feel free to contact Code Societies lead organizer Melanie Hoff ( with any questions about the Code Societies session, or for any general questions about finances or the school.

Image credits: Taeyoon Choi, Melanie Hoff, April Soeterman

SFPC is filled with amazing people and an open mindset to learning, and doing. It has taught me different ways of thinking, ones that I would be sure to bring back to my endeavors outside of the art world.

Ying Quan Tan

I'm half way through the program and I'm already missing being here. SFPC was a much needed breath of fresh air in my hectic creative existence, an unlikely place to stop and remind myself what was it I was into in the first place.

Fernando Ramallo

SFPC messed up my life a little bit. Actually, I think it's going to mess it up a lot. Before this program I thought I knew what I was doing and what the shape of my life was going to look like. Now I don't and each day I wake up scared I won't get to be a part of a community like this again. Everyday also now brings a fresh but welcome creative terror to overcome. Also I think I may have ended up moving to New York accidentally.

Amit Runchal

SFPC is the best place you can explore your interest as much as you want and the place you start to write your own poem.

Yosuke Sakai

SFPC is not really a school or a course — it is more like a door into an extraordinary world. It is driven by passion, kindness and the thrill of teaching and learning. I would love to live those inspiring weeks all over again.

Jesse Wolpert

SFPC was amazing — life-changing even — i want to do all this stuff for the rest of my life!

Rachel Uwa

I've never been consistently surprised and inspired as much as at SFPC.

Jonathan Dahan

If you think SFPC is what you think, that will be wrong. SFPC is a space for a group of people who badly want to try something new. SFPC will become a spirit embedded in your blood which makes you think things with a different angle, just like its motto: more poetry, less demo.

Paul Cheng

I learned a lot at SFPC. It was only a 2 week program last time, but I learned many things from other participants and got the chance to explore and fail freely. SFPC helped me to reshape the way I think. It's your turn.

Hyojung Seo

School For Poetic Computation is equal parts The Factory, childhood blanket fort, and mad scientist's lab. I learned a ton from the teachers and the whole SFPC community in a huge collaborative and exploratory environment.

Lee Tusman

Attending SFPC is like walking into an all day buffet supplied with food from hyper-talented chefs. There's more than you could ever consume, naturally, and you will most likely find yourself requiring a digestion period, but holy crap is it tasty.

Daniel Wilson

My takeaway from SFPC: Never settle for code that isn't at least a little bit magic

Nathan Rosenberg

In SFPC I found a great community and it gave me the confidence to take on coding projects I couldn't have done before.

Scott Leinweber

SFPC is the purest, most honest exchange of knowledge and experience among peers I have ever experienced. It is a supportive space where everyone learns from everyone, and bridges are built that continue to be strengthened for years to come. You won’t get a certificate or a title at the end of it, but I would be amazed if you ever looked at your world the same again. I haven’t.

Ramsey Nasser