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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
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.

Open Access (free)
Balazs Rapcsak and 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
Treachery, the archive, and the database
Caroline Bassett

it is an atrocity comes from his understanding of how it might be used as a social weapon. After all, he has himself been caught up in the use of databases, and the use of data entry, storage and retrieval, to these ends. Conclusion 3: media archaeological witnessing? John Durham Peters, cited above, explores witnessing as a common ‘but rarely examined’ term in both professional and academic analysis of media events. For Durham Peters, witnessing raises questions of ‘truth and

in Anti-computing
Open Access (free)
Mapping times
Alex Gekker, Sam Hind, Sybille Lammes, Chris Perkins, and Clancy Wilmott

media archaeology (see Parikka, 2012) in order to historicise this fettered relationship between movement (down a street in Street View) and photographic and filmic media (in the form of geographic imagery). Yet Abend argues that the heterogeneity of temporality augers a heterogeneity of ‘frames’, or singular spatial representations in Google Street View. Through the ephemerality of the seasons the temporal process at work is revealed. Seasons are unique and fleeting, and yet, like the smellscape in McLean’s work, the echoes left after their brief ­appearances can be

in Time for mapping
The ambivalence of queer visibility in audio- visual archives
Dagmar Brunow

(Munt, 2008). Throughout history, exposing LGBTQ persons via ‘outing’ has been the cause of scandals and violence (Sedgwick, 1990). The fear of exposure has resulted in the desire for safe spaces or the need to be invisible within dominant society. Remaining unmarked within dominant society can thus be a means of protection, leaving only a thin line between archival neglect and recognition. There has not been much attention given to the connection between film archives, digitisation and the recognition of LGBTQ pasts. Film historiography, media archaeology and

in The power of vulnerability
Science fiction, singularity, and the flesh
Caroline Bassett

singularity discourse and internet and new media technologies and (increasingly) between singularity and biotechnological cultures. Each is media-archaeologically significant, partly because each complicates or dissents from key narratives circulating around the time of their production. Together they undercut the temporality of the discourse of real singularity with its varied, but strikingly concrete, predictions of coming change. They do this by exploiting the multi-directionality/dimensionality of SF which is both here now and unreal, not only to question what

in Anti-computing