Katja van Stiphout

At the end of the 20th century, hacking was bleeding edge. When the ideas, practices and pranks of this experimental niche of technophiles attracted the attention of a handful of activists in Italy, they understood that information and communication were what would give shape and voice to social, political, and cultural processes in the near future. +KAOS is a cut and paste of interviews, like a documentary film transposed on paper. It describes the peculiar relationship between hacktivism and activism, in Italy and beyond, highlighting the importance of maintaining digital infrastructures. While this may not sound as glamorous as sneaking into ...

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Beyond ICT4D: New Media Research in Uganda is a collection of ethnographic reports from diverse perspectives of those living at the other end of the African ICT pyramid. Crucially, these texts refocus on the so-called “ICT4D” debate away from the standard western lens, which depicts users in the developing world as passive receivers of Western technological development, towards Ugandans whose use and production of technologies entail innovations from the ground up. It is this ‘other’ everyday point of view that is too often missing in the ICT4D debate: valuable voices that put technologies, projects and organizations into their proper context. Conducted ...

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How to conceptualize online sociability in the 21st century? To answer this question, Communities at a Crossroads looks back at the mid-2000s. With the burst of the creative-entrepreneur alliance, the territorialisation of the internet and the commercialization of interpersonal ties, that period constituted a turning point for digital communitarian cultures. Many of the techno-libertarian culture’s utopias underpinning the ideas for online sociability faced systematic counter evidence. This change in paradigm has still consequences today. Avoiding both empty invocations of community and swift conclusions of doom, Annalisa Pelizza investigates the theories of actions that have underpinned the development of techno-social digital assemblages ...

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Creative Networks explores the dawn of the Internet culture in the age of network society from the perspective of Eastern Europe. From a theoretical angle the networks are introduced and interpreted as complex socio-technical systems. The author analyzes the development of these networked self-organized formations starting off with ‘virtual communities’ of ‘creative networks’, which emerged during the early phase of the Internet, up to the phenomena of today’s online ‘social networks’. Along with the translocal case studies of Nettime, Syndicate, Faces and Xchange networks (as well as with the other important facets of the 1990s network culture in Europe), the ...

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Culture of the Selfie is an in-depth art-historical overview of self-portraiture, using a set of theories from visual studies, narratology, media studies, psychotherapy, and political principles. Collecting information from various fields, juxtaposing them on the historical time-line of artworks, the book focuses on space in self-portraits, shared between the person self-portraying and the viewer. What is the missing information of the transparent relationship to the self and what kind of world appears behind each selfie? As the ‘world behind one’s back’ is gradually taking larger place in the visual field, the book dwells on a capacity of selfies to master ...

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Depletion Design suggests that ideas of exhaustion cut across cultural, environmentalist, and political idioms and offers ways to explore the emergence of new material assemblages. We, or so we are told, are running out of time, of time to develop alternatives to a new politics of emergency, as constant crisis has exhausted the means of a politics of representation too slow for the state of exception, too ignorant of the distribution of political agency, too focused on the governability of financial architectures. But new forms of individual and collective agency already emerge, as we learn to live, love, work within the ...

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This study examines the dynamics of critical Internet culture after the medium opened to a broader audience in the mid 1990s. It is Geert Lovink’s PhD thesis, submitted late 2002, written in between his two books on the same topic: Dark Fiber (2002) and My First Recession (2003). The core of the research consists of four case studies of non-profit networks: the Amsterdam community provider, The Digital City (DDS); the early years of the nettime mailinglist community; a history of the European new media arts network Syndicate; and an analysis of the streaming media network Xchange. The research describes the search for sustainable community ...

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Global gaming networks are heterogenous collectives of localized practices, not unified commercial products. Shifting the analysis of digital games to local specificities that build and perform the global and general, Gaming Rhythms employs ethnographic work conducted in Venezuela and Australia to account for the material experiences of actual game players. This book explores the materiality of digital play across diverse locations and argues that the dynamic relation between the everyday life of the player and the experience of digital game play can only be understood by examining play-practices in their specific situations.

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How do global audiences use streaming platforms like YouTube, Netflix and iPlayer? How does the experience of digital video change according to location? What strategies do people use to access out-of-region content? What are the commercial and governmental motivations behind geoblocking?

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Moving away from the strong body of critique of pervasive ‘bad data’ practices by both governments and private actors in the globalized digital economy, this book aims to paint an alternative, more optimistic but still pragmatic picture of the datafied future. The authors examine and propose ‘good data’ practices, values and principles from an interdisciplinary, international perspective. From ideas of data sovereignty and justice, to manifestos for change and calls for activism, this collection opens a multifaceted conversation on the kinds of futures we want to see, and presents concrete steps on how we can start realizing good data in ...

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This reader is a collection of essays written by Turkish graduate students between 2003 and 2010 for Andreas Treske’s seminar ‘Image, Time and Motion’ at Bilkent University in Ankara, revised and actualized in 2010. Coming from a wide range of disciplines they had studied before, very rarely media or cultural studies, these students brought in their various viewpoints and methods, and tried to integrate their observations and understandings in a seminar related to cinema and new media to discuss and sometimes just to describe the influences of digital media technologies for themselves and their colleagues. Starting from the premise that ...

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If we recognize that copyright is unfeasible, and unjustifiable, what should our response be? Immediately comes to mind that copyright provides an investment protection to blockbusters, best sellers and stars. It distorts cultural markets and pushes a wide variety of cultural expressions out of sight. At the same time, cultural conglomerates controlling copyright dominate cultural markets by owning the means of production, distribution, marketing and reception of cultural expressions. From the perspective of democracy and fair competition this type of market control is not to be tolerated. Thus, let us imagine what abolishing copyright would accomplish, while we do not ...

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Internet on the Outstation provides a new take on the digital divide. Why do whole communities choose to go without the internet when the infrastructure for access is in place? Through an in-depth exploration of the digital practices occurring in Aboriginal households in remote central Australia, the authors address both the dynamics of internet adoption and the benefits that flow from its use. The book challenges us to think beyond the standard explanations for the digital divide, arguing that digital exclusion is not just another symptom of social exclusion. At its heart, Internet on the Outstation is a compelling examination ...

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This PDF / Print-on-Demand issue brings together a selection of texts in which the media theoreticians and nettime founders Pit Schultz and Geert Lovink jointly formulated the main features of the network critique concept between 1995 and 1997. At that time published in German in scattered publications and largely forgotten in the meantime, they are now published for the first time collected. They provide a glimpse into the early stages of the development of the Internet and the beginning of a critical debate characterized by a particular joy in discussion and speculation. The Internet was not yet a ubiquitous reality, but its future ...

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My First Recession starts after the party is over. This study maps the transition of critical Internet culture from the mid to late 1990s Internet craze to the dotcom crash, the subsequent meltdown of global financial markets and 9/11. In his discussion of the dotcom boom-and-bust cycle, Geert Lovink lays out the challenges faced by critical Internet culture today. In a series of case studies, Lovink meticulously describes the ambivalent attitude that artists and activists take as they veer back and forth between euphoria and skepticism. As a part of this process, Lovink examines the internal dynamics of virtual communities ...

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In On Editorialization: Structuring Space and Authority in the Digital Age Marcello Vitali-Rosati examines how authority changes in the digital era. Authority seems to have vanished in the age of the web, since the spatial relationships that authority depends on are thought to have levelled out: there are no limits or boundaries, no hierarchies or organized structures anymore. Vitali-Rosati claims the opposite to be the case: digital space is well-structured and material and has specific forms of authority. Editorialization is one key process that organizes this space and thus brings into being digital authority. Investigating this process of editorialization, Vitali-Rosati reveals how ...

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From Mah-Jong, to the introduction of Prussian war-games, through to the emergence of location-based play: maps and play share a long and diverse history. This monograph shows how mapping and playing unfold in the digital age, when the relations between these apparently separate tropes are increasingly woven together. Fluid networks of interaction have encouraged a proliferation of hybrid forms of mapping and playing and a rich plethora of contemporary case-studies, ranging from fieldwork, golf, activism and automotive navigation, to pervasive and desktop-based games evidences this trend. Examining these cases shows how mapping and playing can form productive synergies, but also ...

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This book examines the most recent shifts in contemporary art practice. By working with artists and closely observing the way in which they relate to urban space and engage other people, locally and globally, Nikos Papastergiadis provides a critical account of the transformation of art and public culture. He shows art has sought to democratise the big issues of our time and utilize new information technologies. While the concept of the everyday highlights the potential for transformation at the level of the individual, at the same time it has to be seen as a critique of broader structures; in this ...

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In The Dark Side of Google Italian writers’ collective Ippolita provides a thorough, fresh analysis of what is behind the universe of Google and the metadata industry. In recent years Google has established itself as a major point of Internet access. We have progressively adapted to its sober, reassuring interface and its advertisements (discretely off to the side, yet always present). We have adopted its services and the habit of using it to the degree that ‘googling’ has become a form of behavior: ‘If you don’t know what it is, Google it!’ Google shows mastery in taking advantage of our need for simplicity. ...

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In their new work research collective Ippolita provides a critical investigation of the inner workings of Facebook as a model for all commercial social networks. Facebook is an extraordinary platform that can generate large profit from the daily activities of its users. Facebook may appear to be a form of free entertainment and self-promotion but in reality its users are working for the development of a new type of market where they trade relationships. As users of social media we have willingly submitted to a vast social, economic and cultural experiment. By critically examining the theories of Californian right-libertarians, Ippolita show ...

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Inspired by taxonomist Jack Goody’s theorizing of ‘ancient lists’ as ‘intellectual technologies’, this book analyzes listing practices in modern and contemporary formations of power, and how they operate in the installation and securing of the milieus of circulation that characterize Michel Foucault’s conception of governmentality. Propelling the list’s role in the delimitation and policing of risky and threatening elements from out of history and into a contemporary analysis of power, this work demonstrates how assemblages of computer, statistical, and list technologies first deployed by the Nazi regime continue to resonate significantly in the segmenting and constitution of a critical classification ...

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The New Aesthetic and Art: Constellations of the Postdigital is an interdisciplinary analysis focusing on new digital phenomena at the intersections of theory and contemporary art. Asserting the unique character of New Aesthetic objects, Contreras-Koterbay and Mirocha trace the origins of the New Aesthetic in visual arts, design, and software, find its presence resonating in various kinds of digital imagery, and track its agency in everyday effects of the intertwined physical world and the digital realm. Contreras-Koterbay and Mirocha bring to light an original perspective that identifies an autonomous quality in common digital objects and examples of art that are ...

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Transcoding the Digital: How Metaphors Matter in New Media by Marianne van den Boomen is a material-semiotic inquiry into the constitutive role of metaphors in our daily encounters with computers and networks. While interface concepts such as desktop and windows are easily recognized as metaphors, this research shows how in fact all digital sign-tool-objects – ranging from icons and email to Facebook friends, from hyperlink and tweet to Pirate Bay – are digital-material metaphors. They frame and organize how we access the black boxes of software and machinery, which in turn organize and reconfigure society. The same holds for discourse metaphors ...

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Lichty’s range of commentary and analysis dissects nearly two decades of what has now become new media society. Before Facebook’s IPO and Wikileaks’ media storm, artist-as-activists experimented with data gloves, virtual world performance, and anonymous, anarchic disruptions determined to bewilder traditional enclaves of art and political society. In this collection Lichty presents several such experiments in distributed creativity: collaborations across a range of technologies and platforms, where authorship becomes a vague placeholder and sometimes acts as a performance in of itself, and the artwork is equally in flux, always in process, and often disappearing into bits. These essays provide an extensive ...

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In Videoblogging Before YouTube, Trine Bjørkmann Berry offers a cultural history of online video, focusing on the critical moment when the internet moved from being a mostly textual medium to a truly multimedia one. Through a close analysis of the early videoblogging community and their creative practices, she argues that early in the new millennium a new cultural-technical media hybrid emerged. This coalesced around the short-form digital film whose aesthetic, technical form and content is a predecessor to, and anticipator of our current media ecology.

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