Computational Culture: Double Book Launch and Launch of Computational Culture, a journal of software studies

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  • Citation: . “Computational Culture: Double Book Launch and Launch of Computational Culture, a journal of software studies.” Computational Culture ().


Thursday 8th December 2011
Room: New Academic Building, LG01
New Cross London
(how to get to Goldsmiths)

Free, All Welcome

To Celebrate the launch of the journal Computational Culture the editorial group presents book launch presentations by Olga Goriunova and Adrian Mackenzie.

>Computational Culture
Computational Culture is an online open-access peer-reviewed journal of inter-disciplinary enquiry into the nature of the culture of computational objects, practices, processes and structures. The journal’s primary aim is to examine the ways in which software undergirds and formulates contemporary life. Computational processes and systems not only enable contemporary forms of work and play and the management of emotional life but also drive the unfolding of new events that constitute political, social and ontological domains. In order to understand digital objects such as corporate software, search engines, medical databases or to enquire into the use of mobile phones, social networks, dating, games, financial systems or political crises, a detailed analysis of software cannot be avoided.
Issue One, A Billion Gadget Minds, is published in November:

>Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet
Olga Goriunova
Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies

In this book, Goriunova offers a critical analysis of the processes that produce digital culture. Digital cultures thrive on creativity, developing new forces of organization to overcome repetition and reach brilliance. In order to understand the processes that produce culture, the author introduces the concept of the art platform, a specific configuration of creative passions, codes, events, individuals and works that are propelled by cultural currents and maintained through digitally native means. Art platforms can occur in numerous contexts bringing about genuinely new cultural production, that, given enough force, come together to sustain an open mechanism while negotiating social, technical and political modes of power.
Software art, digital forms of literature, 8-bit music, 3D art forms, pro-surfers, and networks of geeks are test beds for enquiry into what brings and holds art platforms together. Goriunova provides a new means of understanding the development of cultural forms on the Internet, placing the phenomenon of participatory and social networks in a conceptual and historical perspective, and offering powerful tools for researching cultural phenomena overlooked by other approaches.

Olga Goriunova is Senior Lecturer in Media Practices at London Metropolitan University, curator of the recent software art show Funware (Arnolfini, Mu, Baltan) and an editor of Computational Culture.

>Wirelessness, Radical Empiricism in Network Cultures

Adrian Mackenzie
The MIT Press

How has wirelessness—being connected to objects and infrastructures without knowing exactly how or where—become a key form of contemporary experience? Stretching across routers, smart phones, netbooks, cities, towers, Guangzhou workshops, service agreements, toys, and states, wireless technologies have brought with them sensations of change, proximity, movement, and divergence. In Wirelessness, Adrian Mackenzie draws on philosophical techniques from a century ago to make sense of this most contemporary postnetwork condition. The radical empiricism associated with the pragmatist philosopher William James, Mackenzie argues, offers fresh ways for matching the disordered flow of wireless networks, meshes, patches, and connections with felt sensations.

For Mackenzie, entanglements with things, gadgets, infrastructures, and services—tendencies, fleeting nuances, and peripheral shades of often barely registered feeling that cannot be easily codified, symbolized, or quantified—mark the experience of wirelessness, and this links directly to James’s expanded conception of experience. “Wirelessness” designates a tendency to make network connections in different times and places using these devices and services. Equally, it embodies a sensibility attuned to the proliferation of devices and services that carry information through radio signals. Above all, it means heightened awareness of ongoing change and movement associated with networks, infrastructures, location, and information.

The experience of wirelessness spans several strands of media-technological change, and Mackenzie moves from wireless cities through signals, devices, networks, maps, and products, to the global belief in the expansion of wireless worlds.

Adrian Mackenzie is Reader and Codirector at the Centre for Science Studies at Lancaster University, U.K, author of Cutting Code, software and society and Transductions, bodies and machines at speed and an editor of Computational Culture.

Presented by the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London