Almanacco Letterario Bompiani: Elettronica e letteratura (1961) [Italian]

30 June 2014, dusan

An early document from the field of humanities computing, today widely known as digital humanities.

Elettronica e letteratura is the title of the thematic section of an annual literary almanac published by Valentino Bompiani since 1925. The section contains the historical excursions by Rinaldo De Benedetti, Michele Pacifico and Franco Lucentini, and the reports on scientific research sponsored by Olivetti and IBM Italy and conducted by Roberto Busa, Stanislao Valsesia, Carlo Tagliavini, Silvio Ceccato, and Nanni Balestrini.

In one of the articles, the Jesuit priest Roberto Busa, often cited as the pioneer of the field, gives an account of his work on Index Thomisticus, a complete lemmatization of the works of Thomas Aquinas, started in the late 1940s (elsewhere: “During the World War II, between 1941 and 1946, I began to look for machines for the automation of the linguistic analysis of written texts. I found them, in 1949, at IBM in New York City.”).

Included is also a survey about the potential use of computers in literary scholarship (including a response from Pier Paolo Pasolini), entitled “Le due culture” [Two Cultures], and an essay by Umberto Eco.

in Almanacco Letterario Bompiani 1962: Le applicazioni dei calcolatori elettronici alle scienze morali e alla letteratura
Edited by Sergio Morando
Publisher Bompiani, Milan, December 1961
pages 87-188 (of 324)
via P–DPA log

Commentary (Adriano Comai, 1985, in Italian)

PDF (62 MB; large portion of the survey missing, 313ff)

See also an online emulator of Tape Mark 1 and Monoskop page on digital humanities.

Stanislaus von Moos, Chris Smeenk (eds.): Avant Garde und Industrie (1983) [English/German]

30 June 2014, dusan

Collected papers from a symposium held at the Department of Architecture at Delft University of Technology in May 1981.

Contributions in English from Niels L. Prak, Leonard K. Eaton, Tim Benton, and Jan van Geest; in German from Franziska Bollerey, Hanne Bergius, Stanislaus von Moos, Andreas Haus, Flip Bool, Martin Steinmann, and Otakar Máčel.

Publisher Delft University Press, Delft, 1983
ISBN 9062751091
176 pages
via TU Delft

PDF (29 MB)

Kenneth Goldsmith: Seven American Deaths and Disasters (2013)

26 June 2014, dusan

“What are the words we use to describe something that we never thought we’d have to describe? In Seven American Deaths and Disasters, Kenneth Goldsmith transcribes historic radio and television reports of national tragedies as they unfurl, revealing an extraordinarily rich linguistic panorama of passionate description. Taking its title from the series of Andy Warhol paintings by the same name, Goldsmith recasts the mundane as the iconic, creating a series of prose poems that encapsulate seven pivotal moments in recent American history: the John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and John Lennon assassinations, the space shuttle Challenger disaster, the Columbine shootings, 9/11, and the death of Michael Jackson. While we’ve become accustomed to watching endless reruns of these tragic spectacles—often to the point of cliché—once rendered in text, they become unfamiliar, and revealing new dimensions emerge. Impartial reportage is revealed to be laced with subjectivity, bias, mystery, second-guessing, and, in many cases, white-knuckled fear. Part nostalgia, part myth, these words render pivotal moments in American history through the communal lens of media.”

Publisher powerHouse Books, New York, 2013
ISBN 9781576876367
176 pages
via Marcell Mars

Interview (Christopher Higgs, Paris Review, 2013)
Reviews: Dwight Garner (NYT, 2013), Douglas Luman (Found Poetry Review, 2014).

Publisher

EPUB (updated on 2015-10-9)

Les Immatériaux: Épreuves d’écriture & Album et Inventaire (1985) [French]

26 June 2014, dusan

Les Immatériaux was a landmark exhibition co-curated in 1985 for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris by the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard and the design historian and theorist Thierry Chaput, attracting more than 200,000 visitors during the 15 weeks of its duration.

The exhibition brought together a striking variety of objects, ranging from the latest industrial robots and personal computers, to holograms, interactive sound installations, and 3D cinema, along with paintings, photographs and sculptures (the latter ranging from an Ancient Egyptian low-relief to works by Dan Graham, Joseph Kosuth and Giovanni Anselmo). The Centre de Création Industrielle (CCI) – the more ‘sociological’ entity devoted to architecture and design within the Centre Pompidou, which initiated Les Immatériaux – had been planning an exhibition on new industrial materials since at least 1982. Variously titled Création et matériaux nouveaux, Matériau et création, Matériaux nouveaux et création, and, in its last form, La Matière dans tous ses états, this exhibition, first scheduled to take place in 1984, already contained many of the innovative features that found their way into Les Immatériaux.

These features included an emphasis on language as matter, the immateriality of advanced technological materials (from textiles to plastics and holography), exhibits devoted to recent technological developments in food, architecture, music and video, and an experimental catalogue produced using computers. The earlier versions of the exhibition also involved many of the future protagonists of Les Immatériaux, such as Jean-Louis Boissier (among several other faculty members of Université Paris VIII, where Lyotard was teaching at the time) and Eve Ritscher (a London-based consultant on holography). Furthermore, Les Immatériaux benefited from projects pursued concurrently by other groups within the Pompidou which joined Lyotard’s and Chaput’s project when it was discovered that their themes overlapped. Thus, an exhibition project on music videos initiated by the Musée national d’art moderne and a project on electro-acoustic music developed by IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique) were incorporated into it.” (from a study by Anthony Hudek, 2009, edited)

Volume 1 contains an experimental glossary of 50 terms with contributions by twenty-six authors, writers, scientists, artists and philosophers including Nanni Balestrini, Michel Butor, François Châtelet, Jacques Derrida, Bruno Latour and Isabelle Stengers. Volume 2 reproduces the works exhibited.

Publisher Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, March 1985
ISBN 2858502994 (I), 2858503001 (II)
263 (I) and 142 (nonpaginated A4) pages (II)

Épreuves d’écriture (Volume 1, 11 MB, added on 2014-7-30 via Norkhat)
Album et Inventaire (Volume 2, 103 MB, via Arts des nouveaux médias blog of Jean-Louis Boissier)
See also other documents and literature about the exhibition (Monoskop wiki).

Matthew Wisnioski: Engineers for Change: Competing Visions of Technology in 1960s America (2012)

24 June 2014, dusan

“In the late 1960s an eclectic group of engineers joined the antiwar and civil rights activists of the time in agitating for change. The engineers were fighting to remake their profession, challenging their fellow engineers to embrace a more humane vision of technology. In Engineers for Change, Matthew Wisnioski offers an account of this conflict within engineering, linking it to deep-seated assumptions about technology and American life.

The postwar period in America saw a near-utopian belief in technology’s beneficence. Beginning in the mid-1960s, however, society—influenced by the antitechnology writings of such thinkers as Jacques Ellul and Lewis Mumford—began to view technology in a more negative light. Engineers themselves were seen as conformist organization men propping up the military-industrial complex. A dissident minority of engineers offered critiques of their profession that appropriated concepts from technology’s critics. These dissidents were criticized in turn by conservatives who regarded them as countercultural Luddites. And yet, as Wisnioski shows, the radical minority spurred the professional elite to promote a new understanding of technology as a rapidly accelerating force that our institutions are ill-equipped to handle. The negative consequences of technology spring from its very nature—and not from engineering’s failures. “Sociotechnologists” were recruited to help society adjust to its technology. Wisnioski argues that in responding to the challenges posed by critics within their profession, engineers in the 1960s helped shape our dominant contemporary understanding of technological change as the driver of history.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2012
ISBN 0262018268, 9780262018265
296 pages
via a2

Interview with the author (Carla Nappi, New Books in Science, Technology, and Society, audio, 1h)
Review (Caroll Pursell, The American Historical Review, 2014)
Review (Kevin T. Baker, The Sixties, 2013)
Review (Stephen H. Unger, 2013)

Publisher

PDF

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