Taeyoon Choi: Poetic Computation Reader (2017)

27 September 2017, dusan

This online book discusses code as a form of poetry and aesthetic while raising ethical questions associated with it. It is based on Taeyoon Choi’s lectures at the School for Poetic Computation, an independent school he co-founded in New York City.

Edited by Hannah Son
Designed by HAWRAF
Published 2017

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Source code on Github

Steve Joshua Heims: The Cybernetics Group (1991)

19 September 2017, dusan

“This is the engaging story of a moment of transformation in the human sciences, a detailed account of a remarkable group of people who met regularly from 1946 to 1953 to explore the possibility of using scientific ideas that had emerged in the war years (cybernetics, information theory, computer theory) as a basis for interdisciplinary alliances. The Macy Conferences on Cybernetics, as they came to be called, included such luminaries as Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, Warren McCulloch, Walter Pitts, Kurt Lewin, F. S. C. Northrop, Molly Harrower, and Lawrence Kubie, who thought and argued together about such topics as insanity, vision, circular causality, language, the brain as a digital machine, and how to make wise decisions.

Heims, who met and talked with many of the participants, portrays them not only as thinkers but as human beings. His account examines how the conduct and content of research are shaped by the society in which it occurs and how the spirit of the times, in this case a mixture of postwar confidence and cold-war paranoia, affected the thinking of the cybernetics group. He uses the meetings to explore the strong influence elite groups can have in establishing connections and agendas for research and provides a firsthand took at the emergence of paradigms that were to become central to the new fields of artificial intelligence and cognitive science.

In his joint biography of John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener, Heims offered a challenging interpretation of the development of recent American science and technology. Here, in this group portrait of an important generation of American intellectuals, Heims extends that interpretation to a broader canvas, in the process paying special attention to the two iconoclastic figures, Warren McCulloch and Gregory Bateson, whose ideas on the nature of the mind/brain and on holism are enjoying renewal today.”

Paperback edition appeared under the title Constructing a Social Science for Postwar America: The Cybernetics Group (1946–1953) in 1993.

Publisher MIT Press, 1991
ISBN 0262082004, 9780262082006
xii+334 pages

Reviews: N. Katherine Hayles (Hist Human Sciences, 1992), R.V. Jones (New Scientist, 1992), Carlos A. Martínez-Vela (2001).

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Eric Snodgrass: Executions: Power and Expression in Networked and Computational Media (2017)

15 August 2017, dusan

“This book looks at questions of power and expression as they are composed in various ways within networked and computationally-informed situations of the present. Drawing from the term as it is originally invoked in practices of computing, the research puts forward execution as a central conceptual framework for its investigations. In a computer program, a program becomes executable when it is able to execute a set of procedures within a designated set of relations and affordances. Similarly, the concept of execution developed here looks at the ongoing negotiations of various formative relations and affordances (technical, cultural, material, political) in practices of execution, describing certain notable techniques applied towards the task of making things executable.

The examples looked at include several dominant media and technology practices of the present, as well as several alternative practices that point to other possible modes of execution. In doing so, the research highlights certain politically-orientated issues involved in questions of execution, working to further develop specific approaches aimed at describing, questioning and intervening into practices of execution as they occur in the world.”

Doctoral Dissertation in Media and Communication Studies
Publisher Malmö University, Malmö, 2017
New Media, Public Spheres and Forms of Expression series, 11
Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 International
ISBN 9789171045065
332 pages
via fcr

Publisher

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Matthew Fuller: How To Be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software (2017)

29 June 2017, dusan

“Computer software and its structures, devices and processes are woven into our everyday life. Their significance is not just technical: the algorithms, programming languages, abstractions and metadata that millions of people rely on every day have far-reaching implications for the way we understand the underlying dynamics of contemporary societies.

In this innovative new book, software studies theorist Matthew Fuller examines how the introduction and expansion of computational systems into areas ranging from urban planning and state surveillance to games and voting systems are transforming our understanding of politics, culture and aesthetics in the twenty-first century. Combining historical insight and a deep understanding of the technology powering modern software systems with a powerful critical perspective, this book opens up new ways of understanding the fundamental infrastructures of contemporary life, economies, entertainment and warfare.

In so doing Fuller shows that everyone must learn ‘how to be a geek’, as the seemingly opaque processes and structures of modern computer and software technology have a significance that no-one can afford to ignore. This powerful and engaging book will be of interest to everyone interested in a critical understanding of the political and cultural ramifications of digital media and computing in the modern world.”

Publisher Polity, 2017
ISBN 9781509517152, 1509517154
x+233 pages

Publisher
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Timothy Druckrey (ed.): Ars Electronica: Facing the Future: A Survey of Two Decades (1999)

1 March 2017, dusan

“For the past two decades the Austrian-based Ars Electronica, Festival for Art, Technology, and Society has played a pivotal role in the development of electronic media. Linking artistic practice and critical theory, the annual festival and symposium bring together scientists, philosophers, sociologists, and artists in an ongoing discourse on the effects of digital media on creativity—and on culture itself.

Drawing on the resources of Ars Electronica’s publications and archives, this anthology collects the essential works that form the core of a contemporary art long dismissed as too technical or inaccessible. The book includes a critical introduction, full bibliography, and texts and artworks from the key figures in the field.

Among the many contributors are Robert Adrian, Roy Ascott, Jean Baudrillard, Heidi Grundmann, Donna Haraway, Kathy Huffman, Friedrich Kittler, Knowbotic Research, Myron Kruger, Laurent Migonneau, Sadie Plant, Florian Rötzer, Paul Sermon, Carl Sims, Christa Sommerer, Woody Vasulka, Paul Virilio, Peter Weibel, and Gene Youngblood.”

Publisher MIT Press, 1999
Electronic Culture: History, Theory, and Practice series, 1
ISBN 0262041766, 9780262041768
449 pages
via Ars Electronica

Reviews: Beryl Graham (Convergence, 2000), Rhizome (2000), Stephen Wilson (Leonardo, 2001), Yvonne Spielmann (Leonardo, 2001), Matthew Griffin (PAJ, 2002).

WorldCat

PDF, PDF (41 MB)

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