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turing dance recipe application

a recipe for the critical coding cookbook

critical coding cookbok



turing dance (t-d)

short description (250 words)

turing dance (t-d) is a ritual for a group of three people interested in embodying a slow, sweaty, organic, inefficient, computational machine. this machine has no other use than to have some fun, dancing together, while we imagine other possible worlds.

t-d consists in revisiting and reappropriating a type of hypothetical computing machine described by alan turing in a 1936 paper; an abstract machine that would later be called a "turing machine".

here, we don't discuss this machine in its original abstract sense. we don't use it as one of the fundamental concepts needed to understand the possibilities and limitations of computation; we don't use it to actually build programmable electronic computers.

we don't even talk about the universal version of these machines, and their possibility of simulating any other one.

we just get together and dance according to a simple set of choreographic rules.

a person handles a row of symbols constructed with a series of found objects, one of them a a time; dancing to communicate what's in front of them. another person moves and signals a specific machine-body configuration. the third one tries to make sense of it all, reading movements and performing some others, guiding the group in traversing different "states".

it happens that, if we move without so-called mistakes, we'll be performing, maybe without noticing, a specific computation, an algorithm that in other contexts could have some purpose.

if we do make mistakes, nothing bad will happen: our time would have been equally well spent.

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long description (500-800 words)

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further readings (optional)

permacomputing | viznut

on computable numbers, with an application to the entscheidungsproblem - alan turing 1936

turing dance (t-d) recipe

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