From Energy to Information: Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature

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Bruce Clarke, Linda Dalrymple Henderson
Stanford University Press, 2002 - Science - 440 pages
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This book offers an innovative examination of the interactions of science and technology, art, and literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Scholars in the history of art, literature, architecture, computer science, and media studies focus on five historical themes in the transition from energy to information: thermodynamics, electromagnetism, inscription, information theory, and virtuality.

Different disciplines are grouped around specific moments in the history of science and technology in order to sample the modes of representation invented or adapted by each field in response to newly developed scientific concepts and models. By placing literary fictions and the plastic arts in relation to the transition from the era of energy to the information age, this collection of essays discovers unexpected resonances among concepts and materials not previously brought into juxtaposition. In particular, it demonstrates the crucial centrality of the theme of energy in modernist discourse. Overall, the volume develops the scientific and technological side of the shift from modernism to postmodernism in terms of the conceptual crossover from energy to information.

The contributors are Christoph Asendorf, Ian F. A. Bell, Robert Brain, Bruce Clarke, Charlotte Douglas, N. Katherine Hayes, Linda Dalrymple Henderson, Bruce J. Hunt, Douglas Kahn, Timothy Lenoir, W. J. T. Mitchell, Marcos Novak, Edward Shanken, Richard Shiff, David Tomas, Sha Xin Wei, and Norton Wise.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Classical Thermodynamics and
59
Ostwald Bogdanov and Russian
76
Capturing the Invisible
95
Diagramming Forces
151
Part Four Representing Information
213
Cultural Convergence in the 1960s
214
Three Fictions Dream of Moving
235
Bodies in Virtual Space
279
Brushing against Avatars Aliens and Angels
309
Part Six Representation from Pre to PostModernity
325
Dinosaurs and Modernity
351
NOTES
365
INDEX
429
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Bruce Clarke is Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Interaction of the Arts and Sciences at Texas Tech University. He is the author, most recently, of Energy Forms: Allegory and Science in the Era of Classical Thermodynamics. Linda Dalrymple Henderson is David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author, most recently, of Duchamp in Context: Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Early Works.

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