Nishant Shah, Puthiya Purayil Sneha, Sumandro Chattapadhyay (eds.): Digital Activism in Asia (2015)

2 August 2015, dusan

“The digital turn might as well be marked as an Asian turn. From flash-mobs in Taiwan to feminist mobilisations in India, from hybrid media strategies of Syrian activists to cultural protests in Thailand, we see the emergence of political acts that transform the citizen from being a beneficiary of change to becoming an agent of change. In co-shaping these changes, what the digital shall be used for, and what its consequences will be, are both up for speculation and negotiation.

Digital Activism in Asia marks a particular shift where these questions are no longer being refracted through the ICT4D logic, or the West’s attempts to save Asia from itself, but shaped by multiplicity, unevenness, and urgencies of digital sites and users in Asia.

This reader crowd-sources critical tools, concepts, analyses, and annotations, self-identified by a network of change makers in Asia as important in their own practices within their own contexts.”

Publisher meson press, Lüneburg, July 2015
Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 License
ISBN 9783957960511
273 pages

Publisher

PDF (9 MB, updated 2015-8-13)

Keller Easterling: Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (2014)

20 July 2015, dusan

“Extrastatecraft controls everyday life in the city: it’s the key to power – and resistance – in the twenty-first century.

Infrastructure is not only the underground pipes and cables controlling our cities. It also determines the hidden rules that structure the spaces all around us – free trade zones, smart cities, suburbs, and shopping malls. Extrastatecraft charts the emergent new powers controlling this space and shows how they extend beyond the reach of government.

Keller Easterling explores areas of infrastructure with the greatest impact on our world – examining everything from standards for the thinness of credit cards to the urbanism of mobile telephony, the world’s largest shared platform, to the “free zone,” the most virulent new world city paradigm. In conclusion, she proposes some unexpected techniques for resisting power in the modern world.”

Publisher Verso, 2014
ISBN 1781685878, 9781781685877
252 pages

Project website

Reviews: Self (AR 2014), Wark (2014), Garrett (Antipode 2015), Chan (Art Papers 2015), Owens (Icon 2015), Coggan (Oculus 2015), Harwood (Artforum 2015).

Publisher
WorldCat

EPUB, EPUB (3 MB)

YoHa, et al.: Evil Media Distribution Centre (2013)

18 May 2015, dusan

“Evil Media Distribution Centre is a response to the book Evil Media (2012) by Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey. In that book the authors argue for a broader notion of media and a deeper, more complex understanding of how these grey media influence the way we behave, think and perceive.

‘Grey media’ produce the working environment of administrators, professionals, delivery operatives and arranges the movements and work-arounds of everyone from chief executives to intellectuals or cleaners. They are the background to contemporary society. Using them, getting round their failures, exploiting their specific qualities, forms part of the necessary knowledge of the present day. These things mediate, transform, encode, filter and translate relations. Fuller and Goffey include a broad definition of media to include things like middle management, neurotropic or suppressant drugs that treat the body as an information system, alongside things such as queuing systems or specific algorithms or data–structures.

Assisted by Transmediale, Tom Keene, Anna Blumenkranz and other members of the Open Systems Association, YoHa (Graham Harwood & Matsuko Yokokoji) had invited people to write a text of one hundred words about an object, its genealogy, any key factors that make it amenable to manipulation. This text was then presented together with the object in a cabinet of curiosities that at the same time evoked associations with a distribution centre. A key fact of grey media is its ready quality of dryness, one bordering temptingly on boredom and this is something we asked people to maintain when writing the text.

The project has been installed at Transmediale 2013 in Berlin and The Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam.” (from YoHa’s statement)

Review: Stephen Fortune (2013).

28 contributions presented in video
All 51 contributions presented in text (use menu on the left)

Conversations (2015)

20 March 2015, dusan

I think that conversations are the best, biggest thing that free software has to offer its user.

An extensive collection of conversations between developers and designers involved in the wider ecosystem of Libre Graphics. Speaking to each other about tools for typography, lay-out and image processing they render a portrait of a community gradually understanding the interdependencies between Free Software and design. Conversations is edited by Femke Snelting in collaboration with Christoph Haag.”

In conversation with: Agnes Bewer, Alexandre Leray, An Mertens, Andreas Vox, Asheesh Laroia, Carla Boserman,Christina Clar, Chris Lilley, Christoph Haag, Claire Williams, Cornelia Sollfrank, Dave Crossland, Dmytry Kleiner, Denis Jacquery, Dmytri Kleiner, Eleanor Greenhalgh, Eric Schrijver, Evan Roth, Femke Snelting, Franziska Kleiner, George Williams, Gijs de Heij, Harrisson, Ivan Monroy Lopez, John Haltiwanger, John Colenbrander, Juliane De Moerlooze, Julien Deswaef, Larisa Blazic, Ludivine Loiseau, Manuel Schmalstieg, Matthew Fuller, Michael Murtaugh, Michael Terry, Michele Walther, Miguel Arana Catania, momo3010, Nicolas Malevé, Pedro Amado, Peter Westenberg, Pierre Huyghebaert, Pierre Marchand, Sarah Magnan, Stéphanie Vilayphiou, Tom Lechner, Urantsetseg Ulziikhuu, Xavier Klein.

Publisher Constant, Brussels, January 2015
Free Art License 1.3
ISBN 9789081145930
351 pages

Book website

PDF (30 MB)
Source files (at Github)

For more on libre graphics see Monoskop wiki.

Luciana Parisi: Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space (2013)

20 February 2015, dusan

“In Contagious Architecture, Luciana Parisi offers a philosophical inquiry into the status of the algorithm in architectural and interaction design. Her thesis is that algorithmic computation is not simply an abstract mathematical tool but constitutes a mode of thought in its own right, in that its operation extends into forms of abstraction that lie beyond direct human cognition and control. These include modes of infinity, contingency, and indeterminacy, as well as incomputable quantities underlying the iterative process of algorithmic processing.

The main philosophical source for the project is Alfred North Whitehead, whose process philosophy is specifically designed to provide a vocabulary for “modes of thought” exhibiting various degrees of autonomy from human agency even as they are mobilized by it. Because algorithmic processing lies at the heart of the design practices now reshaping our world—from the physical spaces of our built environment to the networked spaces of digital culture—the nature of algorithmic thought is a topic of pressing importance that reraises questions of control and, ultimately, power. Contagious Architecture revisits cybernetic theories of control and information theory’s notion of the incomputable in light of this rethinking of the role of algorithmic thought. Informed by recent debates in political and cultural theory around the changing landscape of power, it links the nature of abstraction to a new theory of power adequate to the complexities of the digital world.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2013
Technologies of Lived Abstraction series
ISBN 0262018632, 9780262018630
392 pages

For a New Computational Aesthetics: Algorithmic Environments as Actual Objects lecture by Parisi (2012, video, 72 min).

Reviews: Lecomte (Mute, 2013), Ikoniadou (Computational Culture, 2014).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (24 MB)
ARG

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