Category Archives: book

New Book: New Aesthetic, New Anxieties

New Aesthetic New Anxieties is the result of a five day Book Sprint organized by Michelle Kasprzak and led by Adam Hyde at V2_ from June 17–21, 2012. Authors: David M. BerryMichel van DartelMichael DieterMichelle KasprzakNat MullerRachel O’Reilly and José Luis de Vicente. Facilitated by: Adam Hyde

You can download the e-book as an EPUB, MOBI, or PDF.




Annotatable online version:

The New Aesthetic was a design concept and netculture phenomenon launched into the world by London designer James Bridle in 2011. It continues to attract the attention of media art, and throw up associations to a variety of situated practices, including speculative design, net criticism, hacking, free and open source software development, locative media, sustainable hardware and so on. This is how we have considered the New Aesthetic: as an opportunity to rethink the relations between these contexts in the emergent episteme of computationality. There is a desperate need to confront the political pressures of neoliberalism manifested in these infrastructures. Indeed, these are risky, dangerous and problematic times; a period when critique should thrive. But here we need to forge new alliances, invent and discover problems of the common that nevertheless do not eliminate the fundamental differences in this ecology of practices. In this book, perhaps provocatively, we believe a great deal could be learned from the development of the New Aesthetic not only as a mood, but as a topic and fix for collective feeling, that temporarily mobilizes networks. Is it possible to sustain and capture these atmospheres of debate and discussion beyond knee-jerk reactions and opportunistic self-promotion? These are crucial questions that the New Aesthetic invites us to consider, if only to keep a critical network culture in place.

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New Book: Life in Code and Software: Mediated life in a complex computational ecology

Life in Code and Software (cover image by Michael Najjar)

New book out in 2012 on Open Humanities PressLife in Code and Software: Mediated life in a complex computational ecology. 


This book explores the relationship between living, code and software. Technologies of code and software increasingly make up an important part of our urban environment. Indeed, their reach stretches to even quite remote areas of the world. Life in Code and Software introduces and explores the way in which code and software are becoming the conditions of possibility for human living, crucially forming a computational ecology, made up of disparate software ecologies, that we inhabit. As such we need to take account of this new computational envornment and think about how today we live in a highly mediated, code-based world. That is, we live in a world where computational concepts and ideas are foundational, or ontological, which I call computationality, and within which, code and software become the paradigmatic forms of knowing and doing. Such that other candidates for this role, such as: air, the economy, evolution, the environment, satellites, etc., are understood and explained through computational concepts and categories.




New Book: Understanding Digital Humanities

The application of new computational techniques and visualisation technologies in the Arts & Humanities are resulting in fresh approaches and methodologies for the study of new and traditional corpora. This ‘computational turn’ takes the methods and techniques from computer science to create innovative means of close and distant reading. This edited book aims to discuss the implications and applications of what has been called Digital Humanities and the questions raised when using algorithmic techniques. Within this field there are important debates about the contrast between narrative versus database, pattern-matching versus hermeneutics, and the statistical paradigm versus the data mining paradigm. Additionally, new forms of collaboration within the Arts and Humanities are raised through modular Arts and Humanities research teams and new organisational structures (e.g. Big Humanities), together with techniques for collaborating in an interdisciplinary way with other disciplines (e.g. hard interdisciplinarity versus soft interdisciplinarity). This book draws from key researchers in the field to give a comprehensive introduction to some of the key debates and questions.

Brilliant tip when writing a book with Word Mac 2008

If like me you are in the middle of editing a huge word document, in my case a book of 70,000 words, then you are jumping all over the place and it is driving you mad. Word does not seem particularly helpful here and you keep losing place of where you are. Especially if you are editing anything academic where you keep needing to go to the bibliography to enter references as you edit the text.
Well with a bit of luck I discovered that if you click the weird little circle (called ‘Select Browse Object’ in Microsoftese) on the scroll bars (between the double up/down arrows) you can set the double arrows to jump to headings you have declared. Simply by setting the chapter headings to be Heading 1, including the bibliography, you can now zip around the document very quickly to move things and edit, etc. I tried using the bookmark function but it so poorly implemented that it doesn’t even compare to this browsing style..
Update: Even better tips include editing the preferences to turn off the fonts (so that they are not rendered which slows down the computer), and turn off the automatic word count, which also slows the computer to a crawl…