Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts

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Thomas Bartscherer, Roderick Coover
University of Chicago Press, May 30, 2011 - Art - 333 pages
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Half a century into the digital era, the profound impact of information technology on intellectual and cultural life is universally acknowledged but still poorly understood. The sheer complexity of the technology coupled with the rapid pace of change makes it increasingly difficult to establish common ground and to promote thoughtful discussion.

Responding to this challenge, Switching Codes brings together leading American and European scholars, scientists, and artists—including Charles Bernstein, Ian Foster, Bruno Latour, Alan Liu, and Richard Powers—to consider how the precipitous growth of digital information and its associated technologies are transforming the ways we think and act. Employing a wide range of forms, including essay, dialogue, short fiction, and game design, this book aims to model and foster discussion between IT specialists, who typically have scant training in the humanities or traditional arts, and scholars and artists, who often understand little about the technologies that are so radically transforming their fields. Switching Codes will be an indispensable volume for anyone seeking to understand the impact of digital technology on contemporary culture, including scientists, educators, policymakers, and artists, alike.


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Introduction Thomas Bartscherer and Roderick Coover
I Research Sense Structure
II Ontology Semantic Web Creativity
Figment The Switching Codes Game Eric Zimmerman
III Panorama Interactivity Embodiment
Language and Facsimile
Enquire Within Upon Everything Richard Powers
List of Contributors

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About the author (2011)

Thomas Bartscherer is assistant professor of humanities and director of the Language and Thinking Program at Bard College. He is coeditor of Erotikon: Essays on Eros Ancient and Modern, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Roderick Coover is associate professor in the Department of Film and Media Arts at Temple University. He is the author of the digital publications Cultures In Webs: Working in Hypermedia with the Documentary Image and Vérité to Virtual: Conversations on the Frontier of Film and Anthropology.

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