Language wants to be overlooked: On software and ideology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article is a theoretical response to the observation from Wendy Hui Kyong Chun that 'software is a functional analog to ideology'. Several principles of software design support this claim, the first being the principles of reflection and obfuscation evident in all types of code. At the same time, in contrast to natural language, code is both scriptural and executable, indicating the functional quality of software. In simulating the ideological model, software is an example of technical transcoding without figuration that nevertheless coexists with an exceedingly high level of ideological fetishism and misrecognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-331
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Visual Culture
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Allegory
  • Code
  • Function
  • Ideology
  • Language
  • Obfuscation
  • Reflection
  • Software

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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