David Novak: Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation (2013)

12 November 2017, dusan

Noise, an underground music made through an amalgam of feedback, distortion, and electronic effects, first emerged as a genre in the 1980s, circulating on cassette tapes traded between fans in Japan, Europe, and North America. With its cultivated obscurity, ear-shattering sound, and over-the-top performances, Noise has captured the imagination of a small but passionate transnational audience.

For its scattered listeners, Noise always seems to be new and to come from somewhere else: in North America, it was called ‘Japanoise.’ But does Noise really belong to Japan? Is it even music at all? And why has Noise become such a compelling metaphor for the complexities of globalization and participatory media at the turn of the millennium?

In Japanoise, David Novak draws on more than a decade of research in Japan and the United States to trace the ‘cultural feedback’ that generates and sustains Noise. He provides a rich ethnographic account of live performances, the circulation of recordings, and the lives and creative practices of musicians and listeners. He explores the technologies of Noise and the productive distortions of its networks. Capturing the textures of feedback—its sonic and cultural layers and vibrations—Novak describes musical circulation through sound and listening, recording and performance, international exchange, and the social interpretations of media.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, 2013
Sign, Storage, Transmission series
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 License
ISBN 9780822353799, 0822353792
x+292 pages
via author

Reviews: Shaun McKenna (Japan Times, 2013), Scott McLemee (Inside Higher Ed, 2013), Nana Kaneko (Ethnomusicology Rev, 2014), Andrés García Molina (Current Musicology, 2014), Max Ritts (Society+Space, 2014), Jonathan Service (Japan Forum, 2014), Rosemary Overell (Perfect Beat, 2014), Patrick Valiquet (Popular Musicology, 2014), Owen Coggins (Harts & Minds, 2014), Seth Mulliken (Sounding Out!, 2014), E. Taylor Atkins (Asian Music, 2015), Shelina Brown (Notes, 2015), Jennifer Milioto Matsue (Am Anthropologist, 2015), Carolyn S. Stevens (Am Ethnologist, 2015), Christopher Tonelli (Sound Studies, 2016), Benjamin Harley (Enculturation, 2016), Etienne RP (2017).

Book website, with supplemental media
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (4 MB)

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

HTML
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).

WorldCat

PDF (11 MB)