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Dissent and the machine

Anti-computing explores forgotten histories and contemporary forms of dissent – moments when the imposition of computational technologies, logics, techniques, imaginaries, utopias have been questioned, disputed, or refused. It also asks why these moments tend to be forgotten. What is it about computational capitalism that means we live so much in the present? What has this to do with computational logics and practices themselves?

This book addresses these issues through a critical engagement with media archaeology and medium theory and by way of a series of original studies; exploring Hannah Arendt and early automation anxiety, witnessing and the database, Two Cultures from the inside out, bot fear, singularity and/as science fiction. Finally, it returns to remap long-standing concerns against new forms of dissent, hostility, and automation anxiety, producing a distant reading of contemporary hostility.

At once an acute response to urgent concerns around toxic digital cultures, an accounting with media archaeology as a mode of medium theory, and a series of original and methodologically fluid case studies, this book crosses an interdisciplinary research field including cultural studies, media studies, medium studies, critical theory, literary and science fiction studies, media archaeology, medium theory, cultural history, technology history.

Open Access (free)
How anti-computing time-travels
Caroline Bassett

studies’, and media archaeology. The point is to produce an account that is not reducible to technologies presumed to ‘determine’ our situation (Kittler, 1997 ), nor to institutional readings, whilst also disturbing accounts cleaving to representation rather than material that flatten the technological or render it into discourse. Anti-computing as a cut, a walk-through that gathers what it needs, is to be organized by a reading of the computational as a process of co-evolution between machines and humans and therefore as intrinsically (in its materialized and

in Anti-computing
Between theatre as cultural form and true media theatre
Wolfgang Ernst

Introducing Samuel Beckett's media theatre A media archaeological investigation of sound recordings, including the challenge of their preservation and restoration, takes its departure from the technical conditions. It does so with a focus on the epistemological implications of what becomes of sound and speech once they can be technically addressed as signals. Very soon in such an analysis of the analogue and digital hardware and software tools used for sound recording, a sono-technical world of its own unfolds, to which

in Beckett and media
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Travelling images
Anna Dahlgren

general, and theories of mediatization and media archaeology in particular. As pointed out by media theorist Andreas Hepp, ‘media culture is constitutive of reality’, which means that perceptions of reality, but also meanings of notions and concepts, are influenced by media.26 Accordingly, this book investigates such processes in relation to the notion of art and thus provides new perspectives on the relations between art and mass media. With inspiration from media history I use the concepts of ‘media system’ and ‘image systems’ to acknowledge that different visual

in Travelling images
Open Access (free)
A provisional taxonomy
Caroline Bassett

through the smooth and relentless application of (computer) science. An exploration going by way of the anti-computational exploits this disruption and theorizes its significance. Anti-computing can be understood in this respect as a partly theoretical construction or methodology, one which isn't quite archaeological in Foucault's sense, nor quite a media archaeology, but which shares with both of these some interests in discontinuity, series, scales, irreducibility, and looped connection, seeking out and exploiting the possibilities opened by interruption – and

in Anti-computing
Open Access (free)

Featuring twelve original essays by leading Beckett scholars and media theorists, this book provides the first sustained examination of the relationship between Beckett and media technologies. The chapters analyse the rich variety of technical objects, semiotic arrangements, communication processes and forms of data processing that Beckett’s work so uniquely engages with, as well as those that – in historically changing configurations – determine the continuing performance, the audience reception, and the scholarly study of this work. Greatly enlarging the scope of earlier discussions, the book draws on a variety of innovative theoretical approaches, such as media archaeology, in order to discuss Beckett’s intermedial oeuvre. As such it engages with Beckett as a media artist and examine the way his engagement with media technologies continues to speak to our cultural situation.

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Looking across the borderlands of art, media and visual culture

Travelling images critically examines the migrations and transformations of images as they travel between different image communities. It consists of four case studies covering the period 1870–2010 and includes photocollages, window displays, fashion imagery and contemporary art projects. Through these four close-ups it seeks to reveal the mechanisms, nature and character of these migration processes, and the agents behind them, as well as the sites where they have taken place. The overall aim of this book is thus to understand the mechanisms of interfacing events in the borderlands of the art world. Two key arguments are developed in the book, reflected by its title Travelling images. First, the notion of travel and focus on movements and transformations signal an emphasis on the similarities between cultural artefacts and living beings. The book considers ‘the social biography’ and ‘ecology’ of images, but also, on a more profound level, the biography and ecology of the notion of art. In doing so, it merges perspectives from art history and image studies with media studies. Consequently, it combines a focus on the individual case, typical for art history and material culture studies with a focus on processes and systems, on continuities and ruptures, and alternate histories inspired by media archaeology and cultural historical media studies. Second, the central concept of image is in this book used to designate both visual conventions, patterns or contents and tangible visual images. Thus it simultaneously consider of content and materiality.

Art, process, archaeology

This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images. The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and changeable character of images.

Open Access (free)
Balazs Rapcsak
Mark Nixon

became consolidated as an academic discipline from the mid-1980s onwards, achieving international renown in the 2000s. The types of scholarship practised under its aegis are rich and diverse. The two most prominent varieties, however, are represented in this volume by Ernst and Schäfer. While Ernst is a leading exponent of ‘media archaeology’, Schäfer is an eminent literary scholar more closely associated with the school that developed the notion of ‘cultural techniques’. This book thus brings together a variety of specialists, familiar to those in

in Beckett and media
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Sara Callahan

of what creates and structures that future, and that the technological means by which this archiving is done affects, and is inseparable from, the content of what is recorded. Derrida does not linger on this technical aspect of archiving; however, many of these issues come to the fore in disciplines such as media studies and its sub-discipline, media archaeology. When Derrida argues that the archive is located in the future, he suggests that the meaning of the present is only knowable from a future perspective when that present will have become the past. This

in Art + Archive