Peter Lunenfeld: The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine (2011)

29 October 2011, dusan

“The computer, writes Peter Lunenfeld, is the twenty-first century’s culture machine. It is a dream device, serving as the mode of production, the means of distribution, and the site of reception. We haven’t quite achieved the flying cars and robot butlers of futurist fantasies, but we do have a machine that can function as a typewriter and a printing press, a paintbrush and a gallery, a piano and a radio, the mail as well as the mail carrier. But, warns Lunenfeld, we should temper our celebration with caution; we are engaged in a secret war between downloading and uploading–between passive consumption and active creation–and the outcome will shape our collective futures.

In The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading, Lunenfeld makes his case for using digital technologies to shift us from a consumption to a production model. He describes television as “the high fructose corn syrup of the imagination” and worries that it can cause “cultural diabetes”; prescribes mindful downloading, meaningful uploading, and “info-triage” as cures; and offers tips for crafting “bespoke futures” in what he terms the era of “Web n.0″ (interconnectivity to the nth power). He also offers a stand-alone genealogy of digital visionaries, distilling a history of the culture machine that runs from the Patriarchs (Vannevar Bush’s WWII generation) to the Hustlers (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs) to the Searchers (Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google fame). After half a century of television-conditioned consumption/downloading, Lunenfeld tells us, we now find ourselves with a vast new infrastructure for uploading. We simply need to find the will to make the best of it.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2011
ISBN 0262015471, 9780262015479
219 pages

Review: Jan Baetens (Leonardo Reviews, 2011).


PDF (updated on 2019-11-20)

Michal Šimonfy: Bio – Art (2011) [Slovak]

13 September 2011, dusan

Diplomová práca mapuje rôzne umelecké prístupy, ktoré si za oblasť svojho záujmu zvolili skúmanie živej prírody, predovšetkým s prihliadnutím na jej vnútornú, biologickú či genetickú podstatu. Samostatnú časť práce tvoria príklady umeleckých stratégií spájajúce umenie, vedu a biotechnológie, pričom problematike genetického výskumu a vyvstávajúceho nového vzťahu medzi človekom, prírodou a technológiami je venovaná druhá kapitola práce, dôrazom na ich možné spoločenské, etické či politické dôsledky.

Diplomová práca
Akadémia umení v Banskej Bystrici, Fakulta výtvarných umení, Katedra Intermédií a digitálnych médií
Vedúci práce: MgA. Michal Murin ArtD.
Školiteľ: PhDr. Katarína Rusnáková, Ph.D.
Banská Bystrica: FVU AKU 2011
68 strán

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Manuel DeLanda: Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence of Synthetic Reason (2011)

14 May 2011, dusan

In this groundbreaking new book, Manuel Delanda analyzes all the different genres of simulation (from cellular automata and genetic algorithms to neural nets and multi-agent systems) as a means to conceptualize the possibility spaces associated with causal (and other) capacities. Simulations allow us to stage actual interactions among a population of agents and to observe the emergent wholes that result from those interactions.

Simulations have become as important as mathematical models in theoretical science. As computer power and memory have become cheaper they have migrated to the desktop, where they now play the role that small-scale experiments used to play. A philosophical examination of the epistemology of simulations is needed to cement this new role, underlining the consequences that simulations may have for materialist philosophy itself.

This remarkably clear philosophical discussion of a rapidly growing field, from a thinker at the forefront of research at the interface of science and the humanities, is a must-read for anyone interested in the philosophy of technology and the philosophy of science at all levels.

Publisher Continuum International Publishing Group, Limited, 2011
ISBN 1441170286, 9781441170286
226 pages

google books

PDF (updated on 2012-7-17)