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Programming languages are no longer just tools; they have become a means for experimentation and self-expression. Esolangs (“esoteric programming languages”) make code out of punctuation, images, or whitespace, and build compilers that use existing text as unintentional programs. They challenge Western assumptions about what code should look like, and comment on how we communicate with the machine and with each other. They’ve been taken up by code artists for languages enacted as physical gestures, and by poets building on codework and Oulipo.