McKenzie Wark: Reverse Cowgirl (2020)

7 May 2020, dusan

“Another genre for another gender.

What if you were trans and didn’t know it? What if there were some hole in your life and you didn’t even know it was there? What if you went through life not knowing why you only felt at home in your body at peak moments of drugs and sex? What if you expended your days avoiding an absence, a hole in being? Reverse Cowgirl is not exactly a memoir. The author doesn’t, in the end, have any answers as to who she really is or was, although maybe she figures out what she could become.

Traveling from Sydney in the 1980s to New York today, Reverse Cowgirl is a comedy of errors, chronicling the author’s failed attempts at being gay and at being straight across the shifting political and media landscapes of the late twentieth century. Finding that the established narratives of being transgender don’t seem to apply to her, Wark borrows from the genres of autofiction, fictocriticism, and new narrative to create a writing practice that can discover the form of a life outside existing accounts of trans experience: an auto-ethnography of the opacity of the self.”

Publisher Semiotext(e), South Pasadena, CA, 2020
Native Agents series
ISBN 9781635901184, 1635901189
199 pages

Interviews with author: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (BOMB, 2020), Juliet Jacques (Frieze, 2020).

Distributor
WorldCat

PDF

Colleen McQuillen, Julia Vaingurt (eds.): The Human Reimagined: Posthumanism in Russia (2018)

29 April 2020, dusan

“The enmeshment of the human body with various forms of technology is a phenomenon that characterizes lived and imagined experiences in Russian arts of the modernist and postmodernist eras. In contrast to the postrevolutionary fixation on mechanical engineering, industrial progress, and the body as a machine, the postmodern, postindustrial period probes the meaning of being human not only from a physical, bodily perspective, but also from the philosophical perspectives of subjectivity and consciousness. The Human Reimagined examines the ways in which literary and artistic representations of the body, selfhood, subjectivity, and consciousness illuminate late- and post-Soviet ideas about the changing relationships among the individual, the environment, technology, and society.”

Contributors include: Alex Anikina, Keti Chukhrov, Jacob Emery, Elana Gomel, Sofya Khagi, Katerina Lakhmitko, Colleen McQuillen, Jonathan Brooks Platt, Kristina Toland, Julia Vaingurt, Diana Kurkovsky West, Trevor Wilson

Publisher Academic Studies Press, Boston, 2018
Cultural Revolutions: Russia in the 20th and 21st Centuries series
ISBN 9781618117328, 1618117327
viii+268 pages

Reviews: Aaron Winslow (LA Review of Books, 2019), Maria Rubins (Slavonic and East European Review, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (3 MB)

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).

Publisher
WorldCat

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