Computation

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PublisherRepeater Books2020
Innovation. Meritocracy. The possibility of overnight success. What’s not to love about Silicon Valley? These days, it’s hard to be unambiguously optimistic about the growth-at-all-costs ethos of the tech industry. Public opinion is souring in the wake of revelations about Cambridge Analytica, Theranos, and the workplace conditions of Amazon workers or Uber drivers. It’s becoming clear that the tech industry’s promised “innovation” is neither sustainable nor always desirable. Abolish Silicon Valley is both a heartfelt personal story about the wasteful inequality of Silicon Valley, and a rallying call to engage in the radical politics needed to upend the status quo. Going beyond ...
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PublisherStrelka Press2018
AI plays a crucial role in the global cultural ecosystem. It recommends what we should see, listen to, read, and buy. It determines how many people will see our shared content. It helps us make aesthetic decisions when we create media. In professional cultural production, AI has already been adapted to produce movie trailers, music albums, fashion items, product and web designs, architecture, etc. In this short book, Lev Manovich offers a systematic framework to help us think about cultural uses of AI today and in the future. He challenges existing ideas and gives us new concepts for understanding media, ...
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PublisherTriple Canopy2017
The Amme Talks is a conversation between poet and machine. In 2003, poet Ulf Stolterfoht and a chatbot named Amme (which means “wet nurse” in German) met in Berlin. For one week, Stolterfoht interrogated Amme: not just a chatbot, actually, but a steel-and-glass construction with a computer interface, which is connected to a glass of milk, a robotic arm that tips over the glass, and a tube that releases water, as if urinating. Stolterfoht asked Amme—the creation of artist Peter Dittmer—about the nature of authorship and the agency of language; he intended to turn the answers into an essay on poetics. ...
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PublisherZer0 Books2017
Unprecedented kinds of experience, and new modes of life, are now produced by simulations, from the CGI of Hollywood blockbusters to animal cloning to increasingly sophisticated military training software, while animation has become an increasingly powerful pop-cultural form. Today, the extraordinary new practices and radical objects of simulation and animation are transforming our neoliberal-biopolitical “culture of life”. The Animatic Apparatus offers a genealogy for the animatic regime and imagines its alternative futures, countering the conservative-neoliberal notion of life’s sacred inviolability with a new concept and ethics of animatic life.
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The public discourse around AI is oscillating between salvation and the apocalyptic, often referring to images from Science Fiction. Meanwhile, in our smartphones, in search engines or in automatic translation, forms of artificial intelligence are already part of our everyday life. An ongoing artistic research on the topic brought Geneva-based artist Lauren Huret to California, where she conducted interviews with four protagonists of the discourse: Computer scientist and entrepreneur Monica Anderson (Artificial Intuition), computer historian Dag Spicer (Computer History Museum), writer and editor R.U. Sirius (MONDO 2000) and writer Erik Davis (TechGnosis. Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of ...
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PublisherStrelka Press2021
Dutch artist, inventor, and sculptor Theo Jansen talks about making “artificial life forms” from yellow plastic tubes and explains how individual elements of these structures work.
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The blockchain is Janus-faced. On one side its traits of transparency and decentralization promise much in terms of fairness and accountability, but on the other its monetary roots born as a financial payment system, albeit grounded in open-source software, mean its implementations are often stridently capitalistic. Furthermore, those involved in its development seem to oscillate between radical ethical standpoints and reductionist technological determinism. The blockchain engenders what has been called a ‘digital metalism’1 with the ability, like a modern philosopher’s stone, to transmutate life through a distributed ledger. That such a pecuniary minded technology is being touted as a new ...
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PublisherThe New Inquiry2018
For his lecture for the Center for Experimental Lectures (at Interstate Projects, 2017) Devin Kenny illustrated how the physical infrastructure of the network, supposedly developed in the 20th century, actually developed much earlier. Drawing from a variety of sources and traditions, Kenny’s alternative genealogy understands routes of the African diaspora and practices developed during and after the Middle Passage as the origin of network technologies. BailBloc, a computer application he also helped conceive, takes the seemingly apolitical and highly dubious culture of cryptocurrency and bends its networking potential towards an abolitionist politics. Developed by The New Inquiry’s “Dark Inquiry” lab, ...
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PublisherRosa Menkman2016
In her 2012 White Shadows: What is Missing from Images lecture at the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts in Poland, Hito Steyerl speaks about how new technologies force us to reformulate important questions about the making visible, capturing, and documenting of information. In the first part of her talk, Steyerl focuses on the use of 3D scanning in forensic crime scene investigations. Steyerl explains how the 3D scanner, or LiDAR technology (Light Detection And Ranging), sends laser beams that reflect off of the surfaces of the objects that are being scanned. In this process, each point in space is measured ...
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New technological media such as film, photography and computers have altered the way we perceive possible relations between stillness and motion in the visual arts. Traditionally, cinema theory saw cinema and especially the ‘illusion of motion’ as part of the ideological swindle of the basic cinematic apparatus. This collection of essays by acclaimed international scholars including Tom Gunning, Thomas Elsaesser, Mark B.N. Hansen, George Baker, Ina Blom and Christa Blümlinger, starts out from a different premise to analyse stillness and motion as part of a larger ecology of images and media. They argue that the strategic uses of stillness and ...
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Photography has been used as a tool to record our bodies from the creation of the first mugshots in the late 19th century to recent developments in facial recognition technology. In the first episode of Mirror with a Memory, artist Zach Blas and filmmaker and scholar Manthia Diawara will discuss what it means to leave it to machines to verify our identities.
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What have Lumière in common with Wachowski? More than one hundred years separate these two pairs of brothers who astonished, quite similarly, the film spectator of their respective time with special effects of movement: a train rushing into the audience and a bullet flying in slow motion. Do they belong to the same family of “cinema of attractions”? Twenty years ago, Tom Gunning introduced the phrase “cinema of attractions” to define the essence of the earliest films made between 1895 and 1906. His term scored an immediate success, even outside the field of early cinema. The present anthology questions the ...

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