Computational Culture

a journal of software studies

What Do Metrics Want? How Quantification Prescribes Social Interaction on Facebook

Abstract The Facebook interface is filled with numbers that count users’ friends, comments, and “likes.” By combining theories of agency in artworks and materials with a software studies analysis of quantifications in the Facebook interface, this paper examines how these metrics prescribe sociality within the site’s online social network. That prescription starts with the transformation […]

Reflections on the MP3 Format: Interview with Jonathan Sterne

Used by hundreds of millions on a daily basis, there is finally a comprehensive study out on the MP3 audio standard. Sound theorist Jonathan Sterne not only describes the political economic background of how this technology came into being in the early 1990s but also provides the reader with an interesting history of sound and […]

Editorial Issue Four

This fourth issue of Computational Culture is, in the lingo of academic journals, an ‘open’ issue. It wasn’t edited together with a view to following a single matter of concern, or even with a view to underlying ‘disciplinary’ coherence – indeed, as work that situates itself in the loose constellation of analytic concerns represented by […]

Algorithmic Thought: a review of Contagious Architecture by Luciana Parisi

Review of Contagious Architecture, computation, aesthetics and space The MIT Press, Cambridge MA ISBN: 9780262018630 392 pp. 22 b&w illustrations March 2013 From the start, in Contagious Architecture, the proposition is this: uncertainty and incomputability are intrinsic to computation. Looking for ways of accounting for a new digital space composed of ‘alien rule’ and ‘internal […]

Re-collecting the Museum

Review of Re-collection. Art, New Media, and Social Memory by Richard Rinehart and Jon Ippolito MIT Press, Cambridge, MA 2014 Re-collection. Art, New Media, and Social Memory by Richard Rinehart and Jon Ippolito asks the question of how our increasingly digital civilisation will persist beyond our lifetimes. The authors focus on the preservation of new […]

Book Piracy as Peer Preservation

Abstract In describing the people, books, and technologies behind one of the largest “shadow” libraries in the world, we find a tension between the dynamics of sharing and preservation. The paper proceeds to contextualize contemporary book piracy historically, challenging accepted theories of peer production. Through a close analysis of one digital library’s system architecture, software […]

Review of Reverse Engineering Social Media

Review of Gehl, Robert W. Reverse Engineering Social Media: Software, Culture, and Political Economy in New Media Capitalism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014. The Wikipedia article “Criticism of Facebook” was created in August 2007. What was once a few paragraphs about privacy and the risks of posting illicit photographs, is, seven years later, a massive […]

Index Issue Four

Editorial Issue Four Articles pop Paul Dourish, NoSQL: The Shifting Materialities of Database Technology Irina Kaldrack and Theo Röhle, Divide and Share: Taxonomies, Orders and Masses in Facebook’s Open Graph Benjamin Grosser, What Do Metrics Want? How Quantification Prescribes Social Interaction on Facebook Dennis Tenen and Maxwell Foxman, Book Piracy as Peer Preservation Alex Taylor, […]

Modelling biology – working through (in-)stabilities and frictions

Abstract Computational biology is a nascent field reliant on software coding and modelling to produce insights into biological phenomena. Extreme claims cast it as a field set to replace conventional forms of experimental biology, seeing software modelling as a (more convenient) proxy for bench-work in the wet-lab. In this article, we deepen and complicate the […]

No SQL: The Shifting Materialities of Database Technology

Abstract Information systems are material objects, but so too is information as it is manifest within them. Its specific materialities shape the forms of processing that it allows. Any account of what information is, or what it does within social, cultural, or institutional settings must, then, be grounded in an examination of these material considerations. […]

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  • Computational Culture – ISSN 2047-2390

    Computational Culture is an online open-access peer-reviewed journal of inter-disciplinary enquiry into the nature of cultural computational objects, practices, processes and structures.
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