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On The Existence Of Digital Objects

Author: Yuk Hui
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452949921
Size: 36.50 MB
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Digital objects, in their simplest form, are data. They are also a new kind of industrial object that pervades every aspect of our life today—as online videos, images, text files, e-mails, blog posts, Facebook events.Yet, despite their ubiquity, the nature of digital objects remains unclear. On the Existence of Digital Objects conducts a philosophical examination of digital objects and their organizing schema by creating a dialogue between Martin Heidegger and Gilbert Simondon, which Yuk Hui contextualizes within the history of computing. How can digital objects be understood according to individualization and individuation? Hui pursues this question through the history of ontology and the study of markup languages and Web ontologies; he investigates the existential structure of digital objects within their systems and milieux. With this relational approach toward digital objects and technical systems, the book addresses alienation, described by Simondon as the consequence of mistakenly viewing technics in opposition to culture. Interdisciplinary in philosophical and technical insights, with close readings of Husserl, Heidegger, and Simondon as well as the history of computing and the Web, Hui’s work develops an original, productive way of thinking about the data and metadata that increasingly define our world.

Digital Memory And The Archive

Author: Wolfgang Ernst
Publisher: Electronic Mediations
ISBN: 9780816677665
Size: 27.76 MB
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"Digital Memory and the Archive, the first English-language collection of the German media theorist's work, brings together essays that present Wolfgang Ernst's controversial materialist approach to media theory and history. His insights are central to the emerging field of media archaeology, which uncovers the role of specific technologies and mechanisms, rather than content, in shaping contemporary culture and society."--Pub. desc.

Gaming

Author: Alexander R. Galloway
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452908680
Size: 18.53 MB
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Video games have been a central feature of the cultural landscape for over twenty years and now rival older media like movies, television, and music in popularity and cultural influence. Yet there have been relatively few attempts to understand the video game as an independent medium. Most such efforts focus on the earliest generation of text-based adventures (Zork, for example) and have little to say about such visually and conceptually sophisticated games as Final Fantasy X, Shenmue, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and The Sims, in which players inhabit elaborately detailed worlds and manipulate digital avatars with a vast—and in some cases, almost unlimited—array of actions and choices. In Gaming, Alexander Galloway instead considers the video game as a distinct cultural form that demands a new and unique interpretive framework. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, particularly critical theory and media studies, he analyzes video games as something to be played rather than as texts to be read, and traces in five concise chapters how the “algorithmic culture” created by video games intersects with theories of visuality, realism, allegory, and the avant-garde. If photographs are images and films are moving images, then, Galloway asserts, video games are best defined as actions. Using examples from more than fifty video games, Galloway constructs a classification system of action in video games, incorporating standard elements of gameplay as well as software crashes, network lags, and the use of cheats and game hacks. In subsequent chapters, he explores the overlap between the conventions of film and video games, the political and cultural implications of gaming practices, the visual environment of video games, and the status of games as an emerging cultural form. Together, these essays offer a new conception of gaming and, more broadly, of electronic culture as a whole, one that celebrates and does not lament the qualities of the digital age. Alexander R. Galloway is assistant professor of culture and communication at New York University and author of Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization.

Two Lessons On Animal And Man

Author: Gilbert Simondon
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1937561259
Size: 49.65 MB
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Simondon is a secret password among certain discussions within philosophy today. As a philosopher of technology, Simondon’s work has a place at the forefront of current thinking in media, technology, psychology, and philosophy with complex accounts of man’s relationship to technology and the realm that continues to form itself via this tension between man and his technical universe. In this introduction to Simondon’s oeuvre, the reader has access to the grounding of one of the most fundamental and critical questions that has been the focus of philosophy for millennia: the relationship between man and animal.

Contagious Architecture

Author: Luciana Parisi
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262018632
Size: 65.51 MB
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A proposal that algorithms are not simply instructions to be performed but thinking entities that construct digital spatio-temporalities. 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.

The Question Concerning Technology In China

Author: Yuk Hui
Publisher: Urbanomic
ISBN: 9780995455009
Size: 18.68 MB
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"Heidegger's landmark critique of modern technology and its relation to metaphysics has been widely accepted in the East. Yet the conception that there is only one-originally Greek-type of techne has been an obstacle to any original critical thinking of technology in modern Chinese thought. This book argues for the urgency of imagining a specifically Chinese philosophy of technology capable of responding to Heidegger's conception and problematizing the affirmation of technics and technologies as anthropologically universal. Yuk Hui's systematic historical survey of Chinese thought in comparison to the antique philosophy in Europe explains why there is no systematic thinking of technics in Chinese thought. His subsequent investigation of the historical-metaphysical questions of modern technology, drawing on Lyotard, Simondon, and Stiegler, then sheds new light on the obscurity of the question of technology in China. Why has time never been a real question for Chinese philosophy, how has the category of Qi transformed in its relation to Dao in Chinese metaphysical discourse, and how might Chinese thought contribute to a renewed questioning of globalized technics?" --Publisher description.

On The Mode Of Existence Of Technical Objects

Author: Gilbert Simondon
Publisher: Univocal Publishing
ISBN: 9781937561031
Size: 26.89 MB
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Few thinkers have been as influential upon current discussions and theoretical practices in the age of media archaeology, philosophy of technology, and digital humanities as the French thinker Gilbert Simondon. Simondon's prolific intellectual curiosity led his philosophical and scientific reflections to traverse a variety of areas of research, including philosophy, psychology, the beginnings of cybernetics, and the foundations of religion. For Simondon, the human/machine distinction is perhaps not a simple dichotomy. There is much we can learn from our technical objects, and while it has been said that humans have an alienating rapport with technical objects, Simondon takes up the task of a true thinker who sees the potential for humanity to uncover life-affirming modes of technical objects whereby we can discover potentiality for novel, healthful, and dis-alienating rapports with them. For Simondon, by way of studying its genesis, one must grant to the technical object the same ontological status as that of the aesthetic object or even a living being. His work thus opens up exciting new entry points into studying the human's rapport with its continually changing technical reality. This first complete English-language translation of Gilbert Simondon's groundbreaking and influential work finally presents to Anglophone readers one of the pinnacle works of France's most unique thinkers of technics.

How To Talk About Videogames

Author: Ian Bogost
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452949875
Size: 28.25 MB
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Videogames! Aren’t they the medium of the twenty-first century? The new cinema? The apotheosis of art and entertainment, the realization of Wagnerian gesamtkunstwerk? The final victory of interaction over passivity? No, probably not. Games are part art and part appliance, part tableau and part toaster. In How to Talk about Videogames, leading critic Ian Bogost explores this paradox more thoroughly than any other author to date. Delving into popular, familiar games like Flappy Bird, Mirror’s Edge, Mario Kart, Scribblenauts, Ms. Pac-Man, FarmVille, Candy Crush Saga, Bully, Medal of Honor, Madden NFL, and more, Bogost posits that videogames are as much like appliances as they are like art and media. We don’t watch or read games like we do films and novels and paintings, nor do we perform them like we might dance or play football or Frisbee. Rather, we do something in-between with games. Games are devices we operate, so game critique is both serious cultural currency and self-parody. It is about figuring out what it means that a game works the way it does and then treating the way it works as if it were reasonable, when we know it isn’t. Noting that the term games criticism once struck him as preposterous, Bogost observes that the idea, taken too seriously, risks balkanizing games writing from the rest of culture, severing it from the “rivers and fields” that sustain it. As essential as it is, he calls for its pursuit to unfold in this spirit: “God save us from a future of games critics, gnawing on scraps like the zombies that fester in our objects of study.”