Archive for September, 2010

New book out 2011 “Junkware”, by Thierry Bardini

Are we made of junk? Thierry Bardini believes we are. Examining an array of cybernetic structures from genetic codes to communication networks, he explores the idea that most of culture and nature, including humans, is composed primarily of useless, but always potentially recyclable, material otherwise known as “junk.” Bardini unravels the presence of junk at the interface between science fictions and fictions of science, showing that molecular biology and popular culture since the early 1960s belong to the same culture-cyberculture-which is essentially a culture of junk. He draws on a wide variety of sources, including the writings of Philip K. Dick and William S. Burroughs, interviews with scientists as well as “crackpots,” and work in genetics, cybernetics, and physics to support his contention that junk DNA represents a blind spot in our understanding of life. Junkware (Posthumanities) (9780816667512): Thierry Bardini: Books.

Friedrich Kittler’s Technosublime – Bruce Clarke

My point is that the multiplicity of the concept of “media” extends beyond its particular technological instantiations to include both scientific and spiritualistic registers. A history of media could concern itself as well with the luminiferous ether and the Anima Mundi, the subtle fluids and strange angels that intermingled with the departed souls and trick shots of phonography and cinema; but for the most part, Kittler displaces this business to premodernist media.

via Friedrich Kittler’s Technosublime – Bruce Clarke.

“Arts of Transmission” conference examines relationships among ideas and cultures of communication

In the category “wish I had been there”:

The “Arts of Transmission” is an interdisciplinary conference, in conjunction with a special issue of Critical Inquiry, that calls together experts from a range of fields to examine relationships among ideas and cultures of communication, past and present. This discussion conference takes (took) place on Friday and Saturday, May 21-22 in the Swift Hall 3rd Floor Lecture Room at 1025 East 58th Street on the University of Chicago campus.

Participants include Ann Blair, Roger Chartier, Lorraine Daston, Elena Esposito, Peter Galison, John Guillory, Friedrich Kittler, Alan Liu, David and Judith MacDougall, Gregory Nagy, Mary Poovey, and Janice Radway. Conference panels address these topics: Forms and Media, Writing and Memory, Universal Languages, Institutions and Impediments, and Transmitting Arts.

See the archive here:

via “Arts of Transmission” conference examines relationships among ideas and cultures of communication.

The Next Big Thing in Humanities, Arts and Social Science Computing: Cultural Analytics

Cultural Analytics

Hypertext. Hypermed

ia. High Performance Computing. It’s enough to make a humanities scholar hyperventilate. A debate has raged in the last decade (at least) about whether or not the Digital Age will see the death of The Book, The Library and perhaps, The Humanities more broadly. Part of the debate resides in the historical separation that began with Erasmus and the Renaissance, where “hard” was divorced from the “soft” sciences and arts — a division that is still visible both geographically and intellectually on university campuses, as well as amongst scholarly disciplines themselves. But some see the reciprocal and perhaps limitless possibilities of emergent technologies and humanities scholarship – how digital technology cuts across disciplines, creates new ways of looking at artifacts, as well as producing new forms itself.

via HPCwire: The Next Big Thing in Humanities, Arts and Social Science Computing: Cultural Analytics.

Hypercities (Ph: gotta try this)

hypercities is a collaborative research and educational platform for traveling back in time to explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive, hypermedia environment.

via Hypercities.

Les cosmopolitiques entre aménagement et environnement (2003)

Les cosmopolitiques sont les politiques de la crise de la modernité. Elles se fixent comme objectif la composition d’un monde commun, d’un cosmos, mais où la cohabitation doit se faire avec les autres,les exclus (ou les externalisés): les non-modernes, les non-humains ou les surnatures. Pourquoi? Parce qu’il n’existe plus d’externalités, d’environnement, de nature dépotoir, de périphérie lointaine et exotique, où stocker, cacher les conséquences de nos actes. Les externalisés font retour, ils sont là et ils résistent. Nous explorerons les politiques qui placent la question environnementale au cœur de leur action en suivant plusieurs pistes: les attaches du sujet, le multinaturalisme, les politiques du proche et les transcendances artificielles.

via Les cosmopolitiques entre aménagement et environnement (2003).

LIFE 2.0 [virtual world, new reality]

LIFE 2.0 [virtual world, new reality] – HOME. Science Map


Specific Theory by Peter Galison

Over the last decade, science studies has aimed at accounts more local, more contextual, and less scientistic than its once hoped-for science of science. Indeed, the study of science (singular and universal) has begun to seem a bit like an all-out effort to make a theory of all the world’s red objects. Possible, I suppose, but not the most illuminating task to undertake. Instead of trying to measure this or that domain of science against a transcendental set of virtues (prediction, quantification, objectivity, precision, experimentation), science studies has sought to identify how those aims and regulative structures were created, circulated, and ordered in priority. Instead of looking for a universal pattern governing the social basis of scientific work, the best recent explorations have pursued an integrated account of the circumstances of knowledge production and the nature of that knowledge. Early modern laboratory work, nineteenth-century imperial field work, twentieth-century large-scale experimentation, contemporary DNA dragnetting—each raises different ideals for systematic understanding. Each is embedded differently in already existing institutions; each generates new institutions along with concepts and techniques.

via Specific Theory by Peter Galison.

TV races toward its future | Harvard Gazette

“As I was sitting so still,” said Sweeney of her early fascination with television, “the medium never stopped moving.”

As if to illustrate this constant motion, she punctuated the discussion with video clips for the packed crowd at Longfellow Hall. The first was a loud, rapid-fire kaleidoscope of Disney television products, from sitcoms and dramas to movies and sporting events. Sweeney called the clip “a portfolio of our businesses,” screen products meant to appeal to audiences “from the age of 2 to their grandparents.”

via TV races toward its future | Harvard Gazette Online.

(Heard, last night, at another conference on TV: “It’s motion picture; it either moves, or it shows visual”)