Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Over 130 million images with the hashtag ‘selfie’ have been uploaded to the social media platform Instagram. In The Allure of the Selfie: Instagram and the New Self-Portrait, Brooke Wendt examines the significant hold that the ‘selfie’, or the digital self-portrait, has over self and society. Media theorist Vilém Flusser observed that society could become programmed to snap pictures for the sole benefit of cameras, as though under a ‘magical spell’, if photographs continued to be undecoded. Wendt examines this magical spell by analyzing users’ self-portraits on Instagram, one of the most popular contemporary platforms for image production. Marshall McLuhan’s reframing of ...
Privacy, copyright, classified documents and state secrets, but also spontaneous network phenomena like flash mobs and hashtag revolutions, reveal one thing – we lost control over the digital world. We experience a digital tailspin, or as Michael Seemann calls it in this essay: a loss of control or Kontrollverlust. Data we never knew existed is finding paths that were not intended and reveals information that we would never have thought of on our own.  Traditional institutions and concepts of freedom are threatened by this digital tailspin. But that doesn’t mean we are lost. A new game emerges, where a different set of rules ...
Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron’s The Californian Ideology, originally published in 1995 by Mute magazine and the nettime mailinglist, is the iconic text of the first wave of Net criticism. The internet might have fundamentally changed in the last two decades, but their demolition of the neoliberal orthodoxies of Silicon Valley remains shocking and provocative. They question the cult of the dot-com entrepreneur, challenging the theory of technological determinism and refuting the myths of American history. Denounced as the work of ‘looney lefties’ by Silicon Valley’s boosters when it first appeared, The Californian Ideology has since been vindicated by the ...
The MyCreativity Reader is a collection of critical research into the creative industries. The material develops out of the MyCreativity Convention on International Creative Industries Research held in Amsterdam, November 2006. This two-day conference sought to bring the trends and tendencies around the creative industries into critical question. The ‘creative industries’ concept was initiated by the UK Blair government in 1997 to revitalise de-industrialised urban zones. Gathering momentum after being celebrated in Richard Florida’s best-seller The Creative Class (2002), the concept mobilised around the world as the zeitgeist of creative entrepreneurs and policy-makers. Despite the euphoria surrounding the creative industries, there ...
The Personal Portable Library in its most simple form is a hard drive or USB stick containing a large collection of e-books, curated, archived and indexed by an individual user. The flourishing of the offline digital library is a response to the fact that truly private sharing of knowledge in the online realm is increasingly made impossible. While P2P sharing sites and online libraries with downloadable e-books are precarious, people are led to an atavistic and reversalist workaround. The radical tactics of the offline: abandoning the online for more secure offline transfer. Taking inspiration from ancient libraries as copying centers ...
Looking up something online is one of the most common applications of the web. Whether with a laptop or smartphone, we search the web from wherever we are, at any given moment. ‘Googling’ has become so entwined in our daily routines that we rarely question it. However, search engines such as Google or Bing determine what part of the web we get to see, shaping our knowledge and perceptions of the world. But there is a world beyond Google – geographically, culturally, and technologically. The Society of the Query network was founded in 2009 to delve into the larger societal and ...
The Ends of the Internet is an investigation into all the reasons why the Internet, which has been with us for over thirty years, is now on the verge of disappearing. Originally conceived as a space of freedom, the Internet has become the world’s largest panopticon and freedom of expression is subject to surveillance and supervision on an unprecedented scale. The utopian theories of collective intelligence have been undermined by a growing tendency towards commercial exploitation. A small group of companies profit from the majority of online activities. Even the robustness of the Internet itself is now at stake, with ...
The Video Vortex Reader is the first collection of critical texts to deal with the rapidly emerging world of online video – from its explosive rise in 2005 with YouTube, to its future as a significant form of personal media. After years of talk about digital convergence and crossmedia platforms we now witness the merger of the Internet and television at a pace no-one predicted. These contributions from scholars, artists and curators evolved from the first two Video Vortex conferences in Brussels and Amsterdam in 2007 which focused on responses to YouTube, and address key issues around independent production and distribution ...

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