How We Think

Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis
Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226321371
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 296
View: 1260

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“How do we think?” N. Katherine Hayles poses this question at the beginning of this bracing exploration of the idea that we think through, with, and alongside media. As the age of print passes and new technologies appear every day, this proposition has become far more complicated, particularly for the traditionally print-based disciplines in the humanities and qualitative social sciences. With a rift growing between digital scholarship and its print-based counterpart, Hayles argues for contemporary technogenesis—the belief that humans and technics are coevolving—and advocates for what she calls comparative media studies, a new approach to locating digital work within print traditions and vice versa. Hayles examines the evolution of the field from the traditional humanities and how the digital humanities are changing academic scholarship, research, teaching, and publication. She goes on to depict the neurological consequences of working in digital media, where skimming and scanning, or “hyper reading,” and analysis through machine algorithms are forms of reading as valid as close reading once was. Hayles contends that we must recognize all three types of reading and understand the limitations and possibilities of each. In addition to illustrating what a comparative media perspective entails, Hayles explores the technogenesis spiral in its full complexity. She considers the effects of early databases such as telegraph code books and confronts our changing perceptions of time and space in the digital age, illustrating this through three innovative digital productions—Steve Tomasula’s electronic novel, TOC; Steven Hall’s The Raw Shark Texts; and Mark Z. Danielewski’s Only Revolutions. Deepening our understanding of the extraordinary transformative powers digital technologies have placed in the hands of humanists, How We Think presents a cogent rationale for tackling the challenges facing the humanities today.

Unthought

The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious
Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022644791X
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 272
View: 7482

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N. Katherine Hayles is known for breaking new ground at the intersection of the sciences and the humanities. In Unthought, she once again bridges disciplines by revealing how we think without thinking—how we use cognitive processes that are inaccessible to consciousness yet necessary for it to function. Marshalling fresh insights from neuroscience, cognitive science, cognitive biology, and literature, Hayles expands our understanding of cognition and demonstrates that it involves more than consciousness alone. Cognition, as Hayles defines it, is applicable not only to nonconscious processes in humans but to all forms of life, including unicellular organisms and plants. Startlingly, she also shows that cognition operates in the sophisticated information-processing abilities of technical systems: when humans and cognitive technical systems interact, they form “cognitive assemblages”—as found in urban traffic control, drones, and the trading algorithms of finance capital, for instance—and these assemblages are transforming life on earth. The result is what Hayles calls a “planetary cognitive ecology,” which includes both human and technical actors and which poses urgent questions to humanists and social scientists alike. At a time when scientific and technological advances are bringing far-reaching aspects of cognition into the public eye, Unthought reflects deeply on our contemporary situation and moves us toward a more sustainable and flourishing environment for all beings.

Chaos Bound

Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science
Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501722964
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 328
View: 3325

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N. Katherine Hayles here investigates parallels between contemporary literature and critical theory and the science of chaos. She finds in both scientific and literary discourse new interpretations of chaos, which is seen no longer as disorder but as a locus of maximum information and complexity. She examines structures and themes of disorder in The Education of Henry Adams, Doris Lessing’s Golden Notebook, and works by Stanislaw Lem. Hayles shows how the writings of poststructuralist theorists including Barthes, Lyotard, Derrida, Serres, and de Man incorporate central features of chaos theory.

My Mother Was a Computer

Digital Subjects and Literary Texts
Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226321495
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 288
View: 9200

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We live in a world, according to N. Katherine Hayles, where new languages are constantly emerging, proliferating, and fading into obsolescence. These are languages of our own making: the programming languages written in code for the intelligent machines we call computers. Hayles's latest exploration provides an exciting new way of understanding the relations between code and language and considers how their interactions have affected creative, technological, and artistic practices. My Mother Was a Computer explores how the impact of code on everyday life has become comparable to that of speech and writing: language and code have grown more entangled, the lines that once separated humans from machines, analog from digital, and old technologies from new ones have become blurred. My Mother Was a Computer gives us the tools necessary to make sense of these complex relationships. Hayles argues that we live in an age of intermediation that challenges our ideas about language, subjectivity, literary objects, and textuality. This process of intermediation takes place where digital media interact with cultural practices associated with older media, and here Hayles sharply portrays such interactions: how code differs from speech; how electronic text differs from print; the effects of digital media on the idea of the self; the effects of digitality on printed books; our conceptions of computers as living beings; the possibility that human consciousness itself might be computational; and the subjective cosmology wherein humans see the universe through the lens of their own digital age. We are the children of computers in more than one sense, and no critic has done more than N. Katherine Hayles to explain how these technologies define us and our culture. Heady and provocative, My Mother Was a Computer will be judged as her best work yet.

Software Takes Command


Author: Lev Manovich
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1623567459
Category: Social Science
Page: 357
View: 1094

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Offers the first look at the aesthetics of contemporary design from the theoretical perspectives of media theory and 'software studies'.

How We Became Posthuman

Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics
Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226321394
Category: Philosophy
Page: 364
View: 2784

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In this age of DNA computers and artificial intelligence, information is becoming disembodied even as the "bodies" that once carried it vanish into virtuality. While some marvel at these changes, envisioning consciousness downloaded into a computer or humans "beamed" Star Trek-style, others view them with horror, seeing monsters brooding in the machines. In How We Became Posthuman, N. Katherine Hayles separates hype from fact, investigating the fate of embodiment in an information age. Hayles relates three interwoven stories: how information lost its body, that is, how it came to be conceptualized as an entity separate from the material forms that carry it; the cultural and technological construction of the cyborg; and the dismantling of the liberal humanist "subject" in cybernetic discourse, along with the emergence of the "posthuman." Ranging widely across the history of technology, cultural studies, and literary criticism, Hayles shows what had to be erased, forgotten, and elided to conceive of information as a disembodied entity. Thus she moves from the post-World War II Macy Conferences on cybernetics to the 1952 novel Limbo by cybernetics aficionado Bernard Wolfe; from the concept of self-making to Philip K. Dick's literary explorations of hallucination and reality; and from artificial life to postmodern novels exploring the implications of seeing humans as cybernetic systems. Although becoming posthuman can be nightmarish, Hayles shows how it can also be liberating. From the birth of cybernetics to artificial life, How We Became Posthuman provides an indispensable account of how we arrived in our virtual age, and of where we might go from here.

Comparative Textual Media

Transforming the Humanities in the Postprint Era
Author: Katherine Hayles,Jessica Pressman
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780816680030
Category: Art
Page: 331
View: 7663

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Primarily arguing for seeing print as a medium along with the scroll, electronic literature, and computer games, this volume examines the potential transformations if academic departments embraced a media framework. The editors bring together an impressive range of leading scholars to offer new insights for better understanding the implications of the choices we, and our institutions, are making.

Reading Machines

Toward and Algorithmic Criticism
Author: Stephen Ramsay
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252093445
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 128
View: 7962

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Besides familiar and now-commonplace tasks that computers do all the time, what else are they capable of? Stephen Ramsay's intriguing study of computational text analysis examines how computers can be used as "reading machines" to open up entirely new possibilities for literary critics. Computer-based text analysis has been employed for the past several decades as a way of searching, collating, and indexing texts. Despite this, the digital revolution has not penetrated the core activity of literary studies: interpretive analysis of written texts. Computers can handle vast amounts of data, allowing for the comparison of texts in ways that were previously too overwhelming for individuals, but they may also assist in enhancing the entirely necessary role of subjectivity in critical interpretation. Reading Machines discusses the importance of this new form of text analysis conducted with the assistance of computers. Ramsay suggests that the rigidity of computation can be enlisted in the project of intuition, subjectivity, and play.

Digital Modernism

Making It New in New Media
Author: Jessica Pressman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199937095
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 272
View: 5216

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While most critical studies of born-digital literature celebrate it as a postmodern art form with roots in contemporary technologies and social interactions, Digital Modernism provides an alternative genealogy. Grounding her argument in literary history, media studies, and the practice of close-reading, Jessica Pressman pairs modernist works by Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Bob Brown, with major digital works like William Poundstone's Project for the Tachistoscope {Bottomless Pit}, Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries's Dakota, and Judd Morrissey's The Jew's Daughter to demonstrate how the modernist movement of the 1920s and 1930s laid the groundwork for the innovations of electronic literature. Accordingly, Digital Modernism makes the case for considering these digital creations as "literature" and argues for the value of reading them carefully, closely, and within literary history.

Electronic Literature

New Horizons for the Literary
Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
ISBN: 9780268030858
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 223
View: 5130

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A visible presence for some two decades, electronic literature has already produced many works that deserve the rigorous scrutiny critics have long practiced with print literature. Only now, however, with Electronic Literature by N. Katherine Hayles, do we have the first systematic survey of the field and an analysis of its importance, breadth, and wide-ranging implications for literary study. Hayles's book is designed to help electronic literature move into the classroom. Her systematic survey of the field addresses its major genres, the challenges it poses to traditional literary theory, and the complex and compelling issues at stake. She develops a theoretical framework for understanding how electronic literature both draws on the print tradition and requires new reading and interpretive strategies. Grounding her approach in the evolutionary dynamic between humans and technology, Hayles argues that neither the body nor the machine should be given absolute theoretical priority. Rather, she focuses on the interconnections between embodied writers and users and the intelligent machines that perform electronic texts. Through close readings of important works, Hayles demonstrates that a new mode of narration is emerging that differs significantly from previous models. Key to her argument is the observation that almost all contemporary literature has its genesis as electronic files, so that print becomes a specific mode for electronic text rather than an entirely different medium. Hayles illustrates the implications of this condition with three contemporary novels that bear the mark of the digital. Included with the book is a CD, The Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1, containing sixty new and recent works of electronic literature with keyword index, authors' notes, and editorial headnotes. Representing multiple modalities of electronic writing--hypertext fiction, kinetic poetry, generative and combinatory forms, network writing, codework, 3D, narrative animations, installation pieces, and Flash poetry--the ELC 1 encompasses comparatively low-tech work alongside heavily coded pieces. Complementing the text and the CD-ROM is a website offering resources for teachers and students, including sample syllabi, original essays, author biographies, and useful links. Together, the three elements provide an exceptional pedagogical opportunity. "In Electronic Literature, N. Katherine Hayles has delivered a wonderfully structured synthetic overview of writers, texts, critics, and publication venues for the field of electronic literature. In it, she has managed to articulate a non-canonical canon, a body of work and set of ideas that are flexible rather than fixed, inclusive rather than exclusive." --Rita Raley, University of California, Santa Barbara "Kate Hayles has been there since the beginning. She helped formulate the field of digital literature. All readers will be charmed by her new book; high school and college literature and art teachers, in particular, will find this book (and the CD) immediately helpful to introducing students to creative writing in a new media mode." --Thom Swiss, University of Minnesota "Kate Hayles stays with a text, whether electronic or otherwise, like almost no other reader or player, inhabiting each work with care and caring, transforming its material specificity to embodied sense and sensuality rather than a hollow category. In the course of defining a field she has set it abloom and in the process refreshed our imagination." --Michael Joyce, Vassar College "No critic, save N. Katherine Hayles, has the wide grasp of literary criticism, new media history and technology, cyberculture and its philosophical implications, and the interplay between electronic and print imaginative writing. Now, in the five straightforward, readable chapters of Electronic Literature, she supplies the tools and builds the contexts necessary for everyone to grasp the importance of her topic and integrate it into her or his own knowledge base. Her book and CD package will be snapped up by scholars and students alike." --Dee Morris, University of Iowa

New Media

A Critical Introduction
Author: Martin Lister
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 0415431603
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 446
View: 1732

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New Media: A Critical Introduction is a comprehensive introduction to the culture, history, technologies and theories of new media. Written especially for students, the book considers the ways in which 'new media' really are new, assesses the claims that a media and technological revolution has taken place and formulates new ways for media studies to respond to new technologies. The authors introduce a wide variety of topics including: how to define the characteristics of new media; social and political uses of new media and new communications; new media technologies, politics and globalization; everyday life and new media; theories of interactivity, simulation, the new media economy; cybernetics, cyberculture, the history of automata and artificial life. Substantially updated from the first edition to cover recent theoretical developments, approaches and significant technological developments, this is the best and by far the most comprehensive textbook available on this exciting and expanding subject. At www.newmediaintro.com you will find: additional international case studies with online references specially created You Tube videos on machines and digital photography a new 'Virtual Camera' case study, with links to short film examples useful links to related websites, resources and research sites further online reading links to specific arguments or discussion topics in the book links to key scholars in the field of new media.

Writing Machines


Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262582155
Category: Computers
Page: 144
View: 9036

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A pseudo-autobiographical exploration of the artistic and cultural impact of the transformation of the print book to its electronic incarnations.

A Companion to the History of the Book


Author: Simon Eliot,Jonathan Rose
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444356585
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 616
View: 2871

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From the early Sumerian clay tablet through to the emergence of the electronic text, this Companion provides a continuous and coherent account of the history of the book. Makes use of illustrative examples and case studies of well-known texts Written by a group of expert contributors Covers topical debates, such as the nature of censorship and the future of the book

Storytelling and the Sciences of Mind


Author: David Herman
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262019183
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 428
View: 1666

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An transdisciplinary exploration of narrative not just as a target for interpretation but also as a means for making sense of experience itself.

Reading Project

A Collaborative Analysis of William Poundstone's Project for Tachistoscope {Bottomless Pit}
Author: Jessica Pressman,Mark C. Marino,Jeremy Douglass
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1609383451
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 222
View: 9244

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"A collaborative critical analysis of a work of digital literature, this book models how scholars can and need to weave together multiple methodologies from the digital humanities in order to effectively analyze born-digital electronic literature"--

The Raw Shark Texts


Author: Steven Hall
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
ISBN: 9781555847685
Category: Fiction
Page: 454
View: 4597

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This genre-bending national bestseller is “a horror-dystopic-philosophical mash-up, drawing comparisons to Borges, The Matrix and Jaws” (The New York Times Magazine). Eric Sanderson wakes up in a house he doesn’t recognize, unable to remember anything of his life. A note instructs him to call a Dr. Randle, who informs him that he is undergoing yet another episode of memory loss, and that for the last two years—since the tragic death of his great love, Clio, while vacationing in Greece—he’s been suffering from an acute dissociative disorder. But there may be more to the story, or it may be a different story altogether. With the help of allies found on the fringes of society, Eric embarks on an edge-of-your-seat journey to uncover the truth about himself and escape the predatory forces that threaten to consume him. Moving with the pace and momentum of a superb thriller, exploring ideas about language and information, as well as identity, this is ultimately a novel about the magnitude of love and the devastating effect of losing that love. “Paced like a thriller, it reads like a deluge . . . Herman Melville meets Michael Crichton, or Thomas Pynchon meets Douglas Adams.” —San Francisco Chronicle “Rousingly inventive.” —The Washington Post “Unforgettable fiction.” —Playboy “A thriller that will haunt you.” —GQ “Sharp and clear . . . Writing on the edge of the form.” —Los Angeles Times “Huge fun, and I gleefully recommend it.” —Audrey Niffenegger, international–bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife “Fast, sexy, intriguing, intelligent.” —Toby Litt

The Marvelous Clouds

Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media
Author: John Durham Peters
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022625397X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 416
View: 5950

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When we speak of clouds these days, it is as likely that we mean data clouds or network clouds as cumulus or stratus. In their sharing of the term, both kinds of clouds reveal an essential truth: that the natural world and the technological world are not so distinct. In The Marvelous Clouds, John Durham Peters argues that though we often think of media as environments, the reverse is just as true—environments are media. Peters defines media expansively as elements that compose the human world. Drawing from ideas implicit in media philosophy, Peters argues that media are more than carriers of messages: they are the very infrastructures combining nature and culture that allow human life to thrive. Through an encyclopedic array of examples from the oceans to the skies, The Marvelous Clouds reveals the long prehistory of so-called new media. Digital media, Peters argues, are an extension of early practices tied to the establishment of civilization such as mastering fire, building calendars, reading the stars, creating language, and establishing religions. New media do not take us into uncharted waters, but rather confront us with the deepest and oldest questions of society and ecology: how to manage the relations people have with themselves, others, and the natural world. A wide-ranging meditation on the many means we have employed to cope with the struggles of existence—from navigation to farming, meteorology to Google—The Marvelous Clouds shows how media lie at the very heart of our interactions with the world around us. Peters’s book will not only change how we think about media but provide a new appreciation for the day-to-day foundations of life on earth that we so often take for granted.

The Cosmic Web

Scientific Field Models and Literary Strategies in the Twentieth Century
Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501722980
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 232
View: 678

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From the central concept of the field—which depicts the world as a mutually interactive whole, with each part connected to every other part by an underlying field— have come models as diverse as quantum mathematics and Saussure’s theory of language. In The Cosmic Web, N. Katherine Hayles seeks to establish the scope of the field concept and to assess its importance for contemporary thought. She then explores the literary strategies that are attributable directly or indirectly to the new paradigm; among the texts at which she looks closely are Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Nabokov’s Ada, D. H. Lawrence’s early novels and essays, Borges’s fiction, and Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow.

10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10


Author: Nick Montfort,Patsy Baudoin,John Bell,Ian Bogost,Jeremy Douglass,Mark C. Marino,Michael Mateas,Casey Reas,Mark Sample,Noah Vawter
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262304570
Category: Computers
Page: 328
View: 9184

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This book takes a single line of code -- the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 inscribed in the title -- and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text -- in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources -- that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 computer.

Digital Memory Studies

Media Pasts in Transition
Author: Andrew Hoskins
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317267419
Category: Social Science
Page: 314
View: 2280

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Digital media, networks and archives reimagine and revitalize individual, social and cultural memory but they also ensnare it, bringing it under new forms of control. Understanding these paradoxical conditions of remembering and forgetting through today’s technologies needs bold interdisciplinary interventions. Digital Memory Studies seizes this challenge and pioneers an agenda that interrogates concepts, theories and histories of media and memory studies, to map a holistic vision for the study of the digital remaking of memory. Through the lenses of connectivity, archaeology, economy, and archive, contributors illuminate the uses and abuses of the digital past via an array of media and topics, including television, videogames and social media, and memory institutions, network politics and the digital afterlife.