The Techno-Galactic Guide to Software Observation (2018)

17 July 2018, dusan

“This techno-galactic software survival guide was collectively produced as an outcome of the Techno-Galactic Software Observatory (Brussels, 2017). This guide proposes several ways to achieve critical distance from the seemingly endless software systems that surround us. It offers practical and fantastical tools for the tactical (mis)use of software, empowering/enabling users to resist embedded paradigms and assumptions. It is a collection of methods for approaching software, experiencing its myths and realities, its risks and benefits.”

With contributions from Manetta Berends, Željko Blaće, Larisa Blazic, Freyja van den Boom, Anna Carvalho, Loup Cellard, Joana Chicau, Cristina Cochior, Pieter Heremans, Joak aka Joseph Knierzinger, Jogi Hofmüller, Becky Kazansky, Anne Laforet, Ricardo Lafuente, Michaela Lakova, Hans Lammerant, Silvio Lorusso, Mia Melvaer, An Mertens, Lidia Pereira, Donatella Portoghese, Luis Rodil-Fernandez, Natacha Roussel, Andrea di Serego Alighieri, Lonneke van der Velden, Ruben van de Ven, Kym Ward, Wendy Van Wynsberghe, and Peter Westenberg.

Compiled by Carlin Wing, Martino Morandi, Peggy Pierrot, Anita Burato, Christoph Haag, Michael Murtaugh, Femke Snelting, and Seda Gürses
Publisher Constant, Brussels, 2018
Free Art License 1.3
ISBN 9789081145961
244 pages

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D. Fox Harrell: Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (2013)

13 May 2018, dusan

“An argument that great expressive power of computational media arises from the construction of phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination.

In Phantasmal Media, D. Fox Harrell considers the expressive power of computational media. He argues, forcefully and persuasively, that the great expressive potential of computational media comes from the ability to construct and reveal phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination. These ubiquitous and often-unseen phantasms—cognitive phenomena that include sense of self, metaphors, social categories, narrative, and poetic thinking—influence almost all our everyday experiences. Harrell offers an approach for understanding and designing computational systems that have the power to evoke these phantasms, paying special attention to the exposure of oppressive phantasms and the creation of empowering ones. He argues for the importance of cultural content, diverse worldviews, and social values in computing. The expressive power of phantasms is not purely aesthetic, he contends; phantasmal media can express and construct the types of meaning central to the human condition.

Harrell discusses, among other topics, the phantasm as an orienting perspective for developers; expressive epistemologies, or data structures based on subjective human worldviews; morphic semiotics (building on the computer scientist Joseph Goguen’s theory of algebraic semiotics); cultural phantasms that influence consensus and reveal other perspectives; computing systems based on cultural models; interaction and expression; and the ways that real-world information is mapped onto, and instantiated by, computational data structures.

The concept of phantasmal media, Harrell argues, offers new possibilities for using the computer to understand and improve the human condition through the human capacity to imagine.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2013
ISBN 9780262019330, 0262019337
xix+420 pages

Reviews: John Harwood (Artforum, 2014), Brian Reffin Smith (Leonardo, 2015).

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Timothy Druckrey (ed.): Electronic Culture: Technology and Visual Representation (1996)

14 March 2017, dusan

“A rich compilation of essays by some of today’s leading theorists and media critics, this book gathers a series of explorations into diverse forms of visualizations in a cultural environment wired into the global network. With its emphasis on the impact of the digital revolution in the late 20th century and the historical context in which it arose, Electronic Culture could not be more timely or relevant.”

Texts by Vannevar Bush, Martin Heidegger, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Jean-Louis Comolli, Kathy Rae Huffman, Lev Manovich, Vilém Flusser, N. Katherine Hayles, Siegfried Zielinski, Slavoj Žižek, Friedrich Kittler, Sherry Turkle, Pierre Levy, Hakim Bey, Adilkno/Geert Lovink, Critical Art Ensemble, a.o.

Preface by Allucquère Rosanne Stone
Illustrations by Critical Art Ensemble
Publisher Aperture, New York, 1996
ISBN 0893816787, 9780893816780
447 pages

Review: Andreas Broeckmann (Leonardo, 2000).

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