Filed under magazine | Tags: · art, feminism, floss, hackerspace, hacking, hacktivism, software, technology
“Founded by artist-run-centre Studio XX in 2004, in Montreal, the publication .dpi has recently undergone a major transformation in order to assert itself as a feminist journal of art and digital culture. In 2013, with continuing administrative and technological support from Studio XX, the journal .dpi became an independent project, with a new platform (beta version) and new team including permanent editor in chief, Sophie Le-Phat Ho, and a new editorial committee composed of Julie Alary Lavallée, Amber Berson, Esther Bourdages, Christina Haralanova, Corina MacDonald, Katja Melzer, Candace Mooers and Deanna Radford.
In a time when social gains are threatened, funding for artist-run-centres is precarious, and the need for intelligent critique is urgent, the new crew at .dpi wishes to respond to a real need for the creation of an interdisciplinary community of those at once curious and critical of technologies, feminisms and art.
Bringing together a dozen local and international participants, .dpi 27 presents a themed section on hacktivism coordinated by Christina Haralanova, a feminist activist and researcher who is interested by freedom in technology and open-source software. Hacktivism: the Art of Practicing Life and Computer Hacking for Feminist Activism brings together unique perspectives and critiques of the current state of hacktivism, a fusion of hacking and activism.”
Published in Montreal, April 2013
View online (HTML articles, English)
View online (HTML articles, French)
Download h4x0rd version of the issue by Linda Hilfling (PDF, leetspeak English)
View past 26 issues (English)
View past 26 issues (French)
Filed under book | Tags: · algorithm, automation, code, computing, software, software studies, technology
Long gone are the days of jocks and preppies running the trading desks of Wall Street. For more than a decade, a group of math and technology geeks known as the “quants” have completely transformed the financial markets.
Christopher Steiner traces the stories if these quants and their complete makeover of Wall Street. As more an more colleges became hotbeds of quant knowledge, more engineers and math majors infiltrated the job market. And not just on Wall Street but in countless ither fields.
Steiner explores how algorithms and the science behind them are starting to permeate our daily lives, destroying professions and creating new ones. Sooner than we think our music, our food, our medicine, our blind dates, and more will be governed by procedural equations rather than human intuition.
In many cases these innovations are beneficial. But there will inevitably be troubling side effects, like the Flash Crash of May 2010. Steiner explores what will happen, both good and bad, when algorithims more fully control hospitals, transportation and many other fields.
Publisher Portfolio / Penguin Group US, 2012
ISBN 1101572159, 9781101572153
Filed under book | Tags: · anthropology, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computing, ethnomethodology, human-computer interaction, interface, machine, robots, software, technology
This 2007 book considers how agencies are currently figured at the human-machine interface, and how they might be imaginatively and materially reconfigured. Contrary to the apparent enlivening of objects promised by the sciences of the artificial, the author proposes that the rhetorics and practices of those sciences work to obscure the performative nature of both persons and things. The question then shifts from debates over the status of human-like machines, to that of how humans and machines are enacted as similar or different in practice, and with what theoretical, practical and political consequences. Drawing on scholarship across the social sciences, humanities and computing, the author argues for research aimed at tracing the differences within specific sociomaterial arrangements without resorting to essentialist divides. This requires expanding our unit of analysis, while recognizing the inevitable cuts or boundaries through which technological systems are constituted.
Publisher Cambridge University Press, 2007
Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives series
ISBN 052167588X, 9780521675888
Filed under newspaper | Tags: · art, artistic research, code, design, economy, education, media art, net art, software
“In referring to the cancellation of Pluto’s planetary status in 2006, BWPWAP (Back When Pluto Was a Planet) – the 2013 edition of the transmediale festival – interrogates techno-cultural processes of displacement and invention, and asks for artistic and speculative responses to new cultural imaginaries. In light of this, the conference and workshop Researching BWPWAP took place in November 2012 in Lüneburg, Germany, organised jointly by Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Aarhus University and the reSource transmedial culture/transmediale. The call for participation focused on Ph.D. researchers and other participants to speculate on BWPWAP as a pretext for presenting their research and even to further reflect on its circulation as a meme.
This newspaper presents some outcomes of this process, and like the conference and workshop, can be interpreted in the context of a research culture that has been significantly destabilized by network culture and digital media. If the planet Pluto didn’t exactly fall prey to an epistemological break or a scientific revolution, but rather to a mundane administrative procedure – a redefinition of what constitutes a planet – then what does this say about contemporary research culture? Certainly, much research culture has shared Pluto’s fate: conferences reduced to networking events to foster cultural capital, and scholarly communications reduced to impact factors measured by grant givers. In other words, research is not just about measuring the performativity of a single researcher (the peer-reviewed journal system), but also the processes of questioning, investigating, speculating, and sharing between peers in a broader sense.” (from the Editorial)
Peer-reviewed newspaper, Volume 2, Issue 1, February 2013
Edited by Christian Ulrik Andersen and Geoff Cox
Publisher Digital Aesthetics Research Center, Aarhus University, in collaboration with reSource transmedial culture Berlin/transmediale
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license
Filed under booklet | Tags: · bitcoin, capitalism, copyleft, critique, free software, hacktivism, money, software, wikileaks
“While most expressions of hacktivism lack this revolutionary vigour expressed in one of the later communiques by now infamous hacking collective AntiSec, hacktivism is widely appreciated for its radical potential. Wikileaks and hacking crews are considered by some as anarchist special forces striking blows against the forces of domination. Bitcoin is regarded as a practical approach to break the power of capital. Free software is thought of as a model for future production beyond capitalism. We disagree.
This booklet collects our writings on activism in the digital realm produced over the last few years. In our piece on Wikileaks — which first appeared in Kittens #1 — we critique Wikileaks’ appreciation of the bourgeois-democratic state which persecutes it. The article on Bitcoin — which previously appeared in Mute Magazine Vol. 3, No. 3 — deals with the political economy of the digital currency and critiques the Libertarian ideology driving it. Finally, our piece on free software and other digital commons — which has not previously been published — portrays how ‘copyleft’ software licences are still expressions of appreciation for the social conditions we are forced to live under.
All three pieces critique both the fallacies inherent in the reasoning behind these projects as well as left-wing hopes attached to them. As such, it might strike the reader as arrogant sneering from the sidelines. However, this is not the intent of this work. We hold that the project of transforming the existing social conditions must start from a correct understanding of these conditions to avoid reproducing them. In this spirit, this booklet is an invitation to critique.” (from the Foreword)
Publisher The Wine & Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London, London, January 2013
via Marcell, via Anthony
Filed under thesis | Tags: · computing, design, drawing, interface, software, technology
This technical report is based on a dissertation submitted January 1963 by the author for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“The Sketchpad system uses drawing as a novel communication medium for a computer. The system contains input, output, and computation programs which enable it to interpret information drawn directly on a computer display. It has been used to draw electrical, mechanical, scientific, mathematical, and animated drawings; it is a general purpose system. Sketchpad has shown the most usefulness as an aid to the understanding of processes, such as the notion of linkages, which can be described with pictures. Sketchpad also makes it easy to draw highly repetitive or highly accurate drawings and to change drawings previously drawn with it. The many drawings in this thesis were all made with Sketchpad.
A Sketchpad user sketches directly on a computer display with a ‘light pen.’ The light pen is used both to position parts of the drawing on the display and to point to them to change them. A set of push buttons controls the changes to be made such as ‘erase,’ or ‘move.’ Except for legends, no written language is used.
Information sketched can include straight line segments and circle arcs. Arbitrary symbols may be defined from any collection of line segments, circle arcs, and previously defined symbols. A user may define and use as many symbols as he wishes. Any change in the definition of a symbol is at once seen wherever that symbol appears.
Sketchpad stores explicit information about the topology of a drawing. If the user moves one vertex of a polygon, both adjacent sides will be moved. If the user moves a symbol, all lines attached to that symbol will automatically move to stay attached to it. The topological connections of the drawing are automatically indicated by the user as he sketches. Since Sketchpad is able to accept topological information from a human being in a picture language perfectly natural to the human, it can be used as an input program for computation programs which require topological data, e.g., circuit simulators.
Sketchpad itself is able to move parts of the drawing around to meet new conditions which the user may apply to them. The user indicates conditions with the light pen and push buttons. For example, to make two lines parallel, he successively points to the lines with the light pen and presses a button. The conditions themselves are displayed on the drawing so that they may be erased or changed with the light pen language. Any combination of conditions can be defined as a composite condition and applied in one step.
It is easy to add entirely new types of conditions to Sketchpad’s vocabulary. Since the conditions can involve anything computable, Sketchpad can be used for a very wide range of problems. For example, Sketchpad has been used to find the distribution of forces in the members of truss bridges drawn with it.
Sketchpad drawings are stored in the computer in a specially designed ‘ring’ structure. The ring structure features rapid processing of topological information with no searching at all. The basic operations used in Sketchpad for manipulating the ring structure are described.” (from the Abstract)
Originally submitted at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, January 1963
Technical report published by University of Cambridge, September 2003
New preface by Alan Blackwell and Kerry Rodden
Filed under book | Tags: · aesthetics, computing, ideology, interface, media theory, mediation, ontology, philosophy, politics, software
Interfaces are back, or perhaps they never left. The familiar Socratic conceit from the Phaedrus, of communication as the process of writing directly on the soul of the other, has returned to center stage in today’s discussions of culture and media. Indeed Western thought has long construed media as a grand choice between two kinds of interfaces. Following the optimistic path, media seamlessly interface self and other in a transparent and immediate connection. But, following the pessimistic path, media are the obstacles to direct communion, disintegrating self and other into misunderstanding and contradiction. In other words, media interfaces are either clear or complicated, either beautiful or deceptive, either already known or endlessly interpretable.
Recognizing the limits of either path, Galloway charts an alternative course by considering the interface as an autonomous zone of aesthetic activity, guided by its own logic and its own ends: the interface effect. Rather than praising user-friendly interfaces that work well, or castigating those that work poorly, this book considers the unworkable nature of all interfaces, from windows and doors to screens and keyboards. Considered allegorically, such thresholds do not so much tell the story of their own operations but beckon outward into the realm of social and political life, and in so doing ask a question to which the political interpretation of interfaces is the only coherent answer.
Grounded in philosophy and cultural theory and driven by close readings of video games, software, television, painting, and other images, Galloway seeks to explain the logic of digital culture through an analysis of its most emblematic and ubiquitous manifestation – the interface.
Publisher Polity, 2012
ISBN 0745662528, 9780745662527