Filed under book | Tags: · e-government, internet, politics
The internet is now a mainstay of contemporary political life and captivates researchers from across the social sciences. From debates about its impact on parties and election campaigns following momentous presidential contests in the United States, to concerns over international security, privacy, and surveillance in the post-9/11, post-7/7 environment; from the rise of blogging as a threat to the traditional model of journalism, to controversies at the international level over how and if the internet should be governed by an entity such as the United Nations; from the new repertoires of collective action open to citizens, to the massive programs of public management reform taking place in the name of e-government, internet politics, and policy are continually in the headlines.
The Routledge Handbook of Internet Politics is a collection of over 30 chapters dealing with the most significant scholarly debates in this rapidly growing field of study. Organized in four broad sections: Institutions, Behavior, Identities, and Law and policy, the Handbook summarizes and criticizes contemporary debates while pointing out new departures. A comprehensive set of resources, it provides linkages to established theories of media and politics, political communication, governance, deliberative democracy, and social movements, all within an interdisciplinary context. The contributors form a strong international cast of established and junior scholars.
This is the first publication of its kind in this field; a helpful companion to students and scholars of politics, international relations, communication studies, and sociology.
Andrew Chadwick, Royal Holloway, University of London, & Philip N. Howard, University of Washington
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Routledge, 2008
Filed under book | Tags: · digital culture, music, sound, sound recording, sound synthesis, technology
As record collectors and file swappers know, the experience of music—making it, marketing it, listening to it—relies heavily on technology. From the viola that amplifies the vibrations of a string to the CD player that turns digital bits into varying voltage, music and technology are deeply intertwined.
What was gained—or lost—when compact discs replaced vinyl as the mass-market medium? What unique creative input does the musician bring to the music, and what contribution is made by the instrument? Do digital synthesizers offer unlimited range of sonic potential, or do their push-button interfaces and acoustical models lead to cookie-cutter productions? Through this interrogation of sound and technology, Aden Evens provides an acute consideration of how music becomes sensible, advancing original variations on the themes of creativity and habit, analog and digital technologies, and improvisation and repetition.
Sound Ideas reinvents the philosophy of music in a way that encompasses traditional aspects of musicology, avant-garde explorations of music’s relation to noise and silence, and the consequences of digitization.
Published by University of Minnesota Press, 2005
ISBN 081664537X, 9780816645374
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Filed under book | Tags: · activism, collaboration, collective art
The endless debates of art vs. politics; reportage vs. agitprop vs. poetics; what is and isn’t art. My feeling is that the specific reality within which our Visible Collective project formed, operated, and ended, were very specific to the 00′s. Even the way in which we quickly became commodified within an uber-category of “collective art practices” is specific to an over-heated market. The context within which Group Material worked was different, and the results were….?
Published by: IDENSITAT Contemporary Art Association, Spain, 2008
Cover image by Fred Askew
Filed under book | Tags: · game studies, mmorpg, virtuality, wow
World of Warcraft is the world’s most popular massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), with (as of March 2007) more than eight million active subscribers across Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia, who play the game an astonishing average of twenty hours a week. This book examines the complexity of World of Warcraft from a variety of perspectives, exploring the cultural and social implications of the proliferation of ever more complex digital gameworlds. The contributors have immersed themselves in the World of Warcraft universe, spending hundreds of hours as players (leading guilds and raids, exploring moneymaking possibilities in the in-game auction house, playing different factions, races, and classes), conducting interviews, and studying the game design–as created by Blizzard Entertainment, the game’s developer, and as modified by player-created user interfaces. The analyses they offer are based on both the firsthand experience of being a resident of Azeroth and the data they have gathered and interpreted.
The contributors examine the ways that gameworlds reflect the real world–exploring such topics as World of Warcraft as a “capitalist fairytale” and the game’s construction of gender; the cohesiveness of the gameworld in terms of geography, mythology, narrative, and the treatment of death as a temporary state; aspects of play, including “deviant strategies” perhaps not in line with the intentions of the designers; and character–both players’ identification with their characters and the game’s culture of naming characters. The varied perspectives of the contributors–who come from such fields as game studies, textual analysis, gender studies, and postcolonial studies–reflect the breadth and vitality of current interest in MMOGs.
Espen Aarseth, Hilde G. Corneliussen, Charlotte Hagstrom, Lisbeth Klastrup, Tanya Krzywinska, Jessica Langer, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Torill Elvira Mortensen, Jill Walker Rettberg, Scott Rettberg, T. L. Taylor, Ragnhild Tronstad.
Digital Culture, Play, and Identity: A World of Warcraft Reader
By Hilde Corneliussen, Jill Walker
Contributor Hilde Corneliussen
Published by MIT Press, 2008
ISBN 0262033704, 9780262033701
Filed under paper | Tags: · mcluhan, mind, network culture, psychology, toronto circle
The paper discusses the role of networks in cognition on two levels: on the level of the organization of ideas, and on the level of interpersonal communication. Any interesting system of ideas forms a network: ideas presented in a linear order (the order forced upon us by verbal expression) will necessarily convey a distorted picture of the underlying patterns of thought. Networks of ideas typically consist of a great number of nodes with just a few links, and a small number of hubs with very many links; that is, they are, to employ Albert-László Barabási’s term, “scale-free.” Barabási fits into a specific tradition: Hungarians had an early influence on the philosophy of networks, and on the philosophy of communication as developed at Marshall McLuhan’s Toronto Circle. In fact, this was the circle in which certain Hungarian and Austrian ideas on mediated collective thinking first came together—a telling testimony to the conditions of disturbed communication and idiosyncratic networking typical of East-Central Europe, past and present. The nodes-and-hubs pattern is characteristic, too, of social networks, in particular of scholarly and scientific networks. The paper analyses the role of “invisible colleges”—informal groups of scientific elites through whom the communication of information both within a field and across fields is channelled. By way of conclusion the notion of a new type of personality, the “network individual,” is discussed: the network individual is the person reintegrated, after centuries of relative isolation induced by the printing press, into the collective thinking of society—the individual whose mind is manifestly mediated, once again, by the minds of those forming his/her smaller or larger community.Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · video game
In Unit Operations, Ian Bogost argues that similar principles underlie both literary theory and computation, proposing a literary-technical theory that can be used to analyze particular videogames. Moreover, this approach can be applied beyond videogames: Bogost suggests that any medium—from videogames to poetry, literature, cinema, or art—can be read as a configurative system of discrete, interlocking units of meaning, and he illustrates this method of analysis with examples from all these fields. The marriage of literary theory and information technology, he argues, will help humanists take technology more seriously and hep technologists better understand software and videogames as cultural artifacts. This approach is especially useful for the comparative analysis of digital and nondigital artifacts and allows scholars from other fields who are interested in studying videogames to avoid the esoteric isolation of “game studies.”
The richness of Bogost’s comparative approach can be seen in his discussions of works by such philosophers and theorists as Plato, Badiou, Zizek, and McLuhan, and in his analysis of numerous videogames including Pong, Half-Life, and Star Wars Galaxies. Bogost draws on object technology and complex adaptive systems theory for his method of unit analysis, underscoring the configurative aspects of a wide variety of human processes. His extended analysis of freedom in large virtual spaces examines Grand Theft Auto 3, The Legend of Zelda, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and Joyce’s Ulysses. In Unit Operations, Bogost not only offers a new methodology for videogame criticism but argues for the possibility of real collaboration between the humanities and information technology.Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · medical technology, performance art
Contemporary visual and performance artists have adopted modern medical technologies such as MRIs and computer imaging—and the bodily access they imply—to reveal their limitations. In doing so they emphasize the unknowability of another’s bodily experience and the effects—physical, emotional, and social—of medical procedures. In The Scar of Visibility, Petra Kuppers examines the use of medical imagery practices in contemporary art, as well as different arts of everyday life (self-help groups, community events, Internet sites), focusing on fantasies and “knowledge projects” surrounding the human body. Among the works she investigates are the controversial Body Worlds exhibition of plastinized corpses; video projects by Shimon Attie on diabetes and Douglas Gordon on mental health and war trauma; performance pieces by Angela Ellsworth, Bob Flanagan, and Kira O’Reilly; films like David Cronenberg’s Crash and Marina de Van’s In My Skin that fetishize body wounds; representations of the AIDS virus in the National Museum of Health and on CSI: Crime Scene Investigations; and the paintings of outsider artist Martin Ramírez. At the heart of this work is the scar—a place of production, of repetition and difference, of multiple nerve sensations, fragile skin, outer sign, and bodily depth. Through the embodied sign of the scar, Kuppers articulates connections between subjective experience, history, and personal politics. Illustrated throughout, The Scar of Invisibility broadens our understanding of the significance of medical images in visual culture. Petra Kuppers is associate professor of English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the author of Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge.
The scar of visibility: medical performances and contemporary art
By Petra Kuppers
Published by U of Minnesota Press, 2007
ISBN 0816646538, 9780816646531