Filed under book | Tags: · attention, attention economy, censorship, democracy, facebook, google, internet, knowledge, pagerank, privacy, search, web
Search engines have become a key part of our everyday lives. Yet while much has been written about how to use search engines and how they can be improved, there has been comparatively little exploration of what the social and cultural effects might be. Like all technologies, search engines exist within a larger political, cultural, and economic environment. This volume aims to redress this balance and to address crucial questions such as:
* How have search engines changed the way we organize our thoughts about the world, and how we work?
* What are the ‘search engine wars’, what do they portend for the future of search, and who wins or loses?
* To what extent does political control of search engines, or the political influence of search engines, affect how they are used, misused, and regulated?
* Does the search engine help shape our identities and interactions with others, and what implications does this have for privacy?
Informed members of the information society must understand the social contexts in which search engines have been developed, what that development says about us as a society, and the role of the search engine in the global information environment. This book provides the perfect starting point.
Publisher Polity, 2008
Digital Media and Society series
ISBN 0745642152, 9780745642154
Filed under journal | Tags: · attention, attention economy, floss, labour, networks, production, software
“This issue of Culture Machine sets itself two interrelated tasks in response to the scope and implications of these interrelated positions concerning attention, consciousness, culture, economics and politics. Firstly, it interrogates the notion of attention as it is elaborated in approaches to the attention economy and to media as forms of attention capture. The essays by three leading contributors to thinking in and around these themes, Bernard Stiegler, Tiziana Terranova, and Jonathan Beller, have such an interrogation as their principal task. They develop different, overlapping and sometimes contrasting perspectives on how a critical reposing of the question of attention might reframe its purchase on the central themes of the relation between interiority and exteriority, minds and media, economics and culture. The interview with Michel Bauwens, and the essays by Ben Roberts and Sy Taffel, are also working toward this end in that they identify various limitations and exclusions of the predominant articulation of the attention economy and move toward alternative, more productive, ethical or socially just formulations.
The second task of this issue is pursued in the essays of Tania Bucher, Martin Thayne, Rolien Hoyng and the three contributions to the additional section of the issue. These three – from Ruth Catlow, Constance Fleuriot and Bjarke Liboriussen – represent less scholarly but no less acute strategic inquiries into the thinking and re-making of what Stiegler calls attentional technics. Together, these contributions address particular instantiations of media forms, design practices and phenomena – from Facebook and Second Life to pervasive media design and Istanbul’s digitally mediated City of European Culture project – as a way of exploring and critically inflecting the implementation of the attention economy. This second mode moves from material phenomena to theoretical analysis and critique, while the first goes the other way. As we have argued, however, the necessity of the traffic between them is a central tenet of how we endeavour to pay attention to contemporary digital technoculture in this issue.” (from the introduction)
Edited by Patrick Crogan and Samuel Kinsley
Part of Open Humanities Press
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Willem Schinkel, Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens (eds.): In Medias Res: Peter Sloterdijk’s Spherological Poetics of Being (2011)
Filed under book | Tags: · aesthetics, attention, biopolitics, capitalism, critique, information society, mass media, philosophy, politics, posthumanism, religion, theory
Sloterdijk has in recent years grown into one of Germany’s most influential thinkers. His work, which is extremely relevant for philosophers, scientists of art and culture, sociologists, political scientists and theologists, is only now gradually being translated in English. This book makes his work accessible to a wider audience by putting it to work in orientation towards current issues.
Sloterdijk’s philosophy moves from a Heideggerian project to think ‘space and time’ to a Diogenes-inspired ‘kynical’ affirmation of the body and a Deleuzian ontology of network-spheres. In a range of accessible and clearly written chapters, this book discusses the many aspects of this thought.
Contributions by Willem Schinkel and Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens, Christian Borch, Sjoerd van Tuinen, Robert Pfaller, Peter Weibel, Laurens ten Kate, Rudi Laermans, Yana Milev, Bruno Latour, Erik Bordeleau
Publisher Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2011
ISBN 908964329X, 9789089643292
Licensed under Creative Commons Licence BY-NC 3.0
Filed under book | Tags: · 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, aesthetics, art history, attention, painting, perception, spectacle, subjectivity
Suspensions of Perception is a major historical study of human attention and its volatile role in modern Western culture. It argues that the ways in which we intently look at or listen to anything result from crucial changes in the nature of perception that can be traced back to the second half of the nineteenth century.
Focusing on the period from about 1880 to 1905, Jonathan Crary examines the connections between the modernization of subjectivity and the dramatic expansion and industrialization of visual/auditory culture. At the core of his project is the paradoxical nature of modern attention, which was both a fundamental condition of individual freedom, creativity, and experience and a central element in the efficient functioning of economic and disciplinary institutions as well as the emerging spaces of mass consumption and spectacle.
Crary approaches these issues through multiple analyses of single works by three key modernist painters—Manet, Seurat, and Cezanne—who each engaged in a singular confrontation with the disruptions, vacancies, and rifts within a perceptual field. Each in his own way discovered that sustained attentiveness, rather than fixing or securing the world, led to perceptual disintegration and loss of presence, and each used this discovery as the basis for a reinvention of representational practices.
Suspensions of Perception decisively relocates the problem of aesthetic contemplation within a broader collective encounter with the unstable nature of perception—in psychology, philosophy, neurology, early cinema, and photography. In doing so, it provides a historical framework for understanding the current social crisis of attention amid the accelerating metamorphoses of our contemporary technological culture.
Publisher MIT Press, 2001
ISBN 0262531992, 9780262531993
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Jonathan Beller: The Cinematic Mode of Production. Attention Economy and the Society of the Spectacle (2006)
Filed under book | Tags: · attention, attention economy, capitalism, cinema, film, film theory, labour, marxism, spectacle
“Cinema brings the industrial revolution to the eye,” writes Jonathan Beller, “and engages spectators in increasingly dematerialized processes of social production.” In his groundbreaking critical study, cinema is the paradigmatic example of how the act of looking has been construed by capital as “productive labor.” Through an examination of cinema over the course of the twentieth century, Beller establishes on both theoretical and historical grounds the process of the emergent capitalization of perception. This process, he says, underpins the current global economy.
By exploring a set of films made since the late 1920s, Beller argues that, through cinema, capital first posits and then presupposes looking as a value-productive activity. He argues that cinema, as the first crystallization of a new order of media, is itself an abstraction of assembly-line processes, and that the contemporary image is a politico-economic interface between the body and capitalized social machinery. Where factory workers first performed sequenced physical operations on moving objects in order to produce a commodity, in the cinema, spectators perform sequenced visual operations on moving montage fragments to produce an image.
Beller develops his argument by highlighting various innovations and film texts of the past century. These innovations include concepts and practices from the revolutionary Soviet cinema, behaviorism, Taylorism, psychoanalysis, and contemporary Hollywood film. He thus develops an analysis of what amounts to the global industrialization of perception that today informs not only the specific social functions of new media, but also sustains a violent and hierarchical global society.
Publisher University Press of New England, 2006
ISBN 1584655836, 9781584655831
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