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
WorldCat

HTML

Luciana Parisi: Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space (2013)

20 February 2015, dusan

“In Contagious Architecture, Luciana Parisi offers a philosophical inquiry into the status of the algorithm in architectural and interaction design. Her thesis is that algorithmic computation is not simply an abstract mathematical tool but constitutes a mode of thought in its own right, in that its operation extends into forms of abstraction that lie beyond direct human cognition and control. These include modes of infinity, contingency, and indeterminacy, as well as incomputable quantities underlying the iterative process of algorithmic processing.

The main philosophical source for the project is Alfred North Whitehead, whose process philosophy is specifically designed to provide a vocabulary for “modes of thought” exhibiting various degrees of autonomy from human agency even as they are mobilized by it. Because algorithmic processing lies at the heart of the design practices now reshaping our world—from the physical spaces of our built environment to the networked spaces of digital culture—the nature of algorithmic thought is a topic of pressing importance that reraises questions of control and, ultimately, power. Contagious Architecture revisits cybernetic theories of control and information theory’s notion of the incomputable in light of this rethinking of the role of algorithmic thought. Informed by recent debates in political and cultural theory around the changing landscape of power, it links the nature of abstraction to a new theory of power adequate to the complexities of the digital world.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2013
Technologies of Lived Abstraction series
ISBN 0262018632, 9780262018630
392 pages

For a New Computational Aesthetics: Algorithmic Environments as Actual Objects lecture by Parisi (2012, video, 72 min).

Reviews: Lecomte (Mute, 2013), Ikoniadou (Computational Culture, 2014).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (24 MB)

Olga Goriunova (ed.): Fun and Software: Exploring Pleasure, Paradox and Pain in Computing (2014)

14 December 2014, dusan

Fun and Software offers the untold story of fun as constitutive of the culture and aesthetics of computing. Fun in computing is a mode of thinking, making and experiencing. It invokes and convolutes the question of rationalism and logical reason, addresses the sensibilities and experience of computation and attests to its creative drives. By exploring topics as diverse as the pleasure and pain of the programmer, geek wit, affects of play and coding as a bodily pursuit of the unique in recursive structures, Fun and Software helps construct a different point of entry to the understanding of software as culture. Fun is a form of production that touches on the foundations of formal logic and precise notation as well as rhetoric, exhibiting connections between computing and paradox, politics and aesthetics. From the formation of the discipline of programming as an outgrowth of pure mathematics to its manifestation in contemporary and contradictory forms such as gaming, data analysis and art, fun is a powerful force that continues to shape our life with software as it becomes the key mechanism of contemporary society.”

Texts by Andrew Goffey, Simon Yuill, Matthew Fuller, Luciana Parisi and M. Beatrice Fazi, Adrian Mackenzie, Michael Murtaugh, Geoff Cox and Alex McLean, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Andrew Lison, Christian Ulrik Andersen, Brigitte Kaltenbacher, Annet Dekker, and Olga Goriunova.

Publisher Bloomsbury, New York and London, 2014
New Media and Technology series
ISBN 1623560942, 9781623560942
285 pages

Software studies page on Monoskop

Publisher

PDF, ARG