Ars Electronica: Facing the Future: A Survey of Two Decades (Electronic Culture: History, Theory, and Practice)

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9780262541275: Ars Electronica: Facing the Future: A Survey of Two Decades (Electronic Culture: History, Theory, and Practice)
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An anthology documenting the projects and writings of a group that laid the foundations for electronic culture and the new media.For the past two decades the Austrian-based Ars Electronica, Festival for Art, Technology, and Society has played a pivotal role in the development of electronic media. Linking artistic practice and critical theory, the annual festival and symposium bring together scientists, philosophers, sociologists, and artists in an ongoing discourse on the effects of digital media on creativity-and on culture itself. Since Ars Electronica's inception, the evolution of the artistic, historical, and theoretical works presented has been documented in a series of publications that remain crucial to any understanding of media art. Drawing on the abundant and inventive resources of those publications and on Ars Electronica's archives, this anthology collects the essential works that form the core of a contemporary art long dismissed as too technical or inaccessible. The book includes a critical introduction, full bibliography, and texts and artworks from the key figures in the field. ContributorsRobert Adrian, Roy Ascott, Jean Baudrillard, Heidi Grundmann, Donna Haraway, Kathy Huffman, Friedrich Kittler, Knowbotic Research, Myron Kruger, Laurent Migonneau, Sadie Plant, Florian Roetzer, Paul Sermon, Carl Sims, Christa Sommerer, Woody Vasulka, Paul Virilio, Peter Weibel, and Gene YoungbloodThis is the inaugural book in the new series Electronic Culture: History, Theory, and Practice.

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For more than two decades,Ars Electronica has maintained a pivotal position in the history and development of electronic media by linking artistic practice and critical theory in an ongoing discourse on the effects of digital media on creativity and culture.

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Since 1979, annual electronic media Austrian festival and symposium Ars Electronica has investigated the intersection of theory and practice in the post-revolutionary world of the digital. This year, the festival's 20th anniversary, writer/curator Timothy Druckrey put together an edited volume of papers that have been given at the symposium over the past two decades.

Ars Electronica: Facing the Future--A Survey of Two Decades has three sections: History, Theory and Practice. Practice is mainly brief explications of exhibits from past festivals; the other two sections are more complex. In History, Hari Kunzru's 1997 essay entitled "Bad Girl Versus the Astronaut Christ" explores the concept of the cyborg alongside the way humans relate to this technologically superior being--and the way this relationship has changed over time.

"The Future Merging of Science, Art, and Psychology", Marvin Minksy's 1990 essay in Theory, is strangely moving, depicting as it does an emerging world where the simpler an action is, the more difficult it is to understand and how our study of "the twin enterprises of cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence" will help explain why.

Though perhaps not a book you'd read cover to cover without putting it down, it is one you might keep on your bedside table and dip into and out of. The tightly written, provocative essays will shape your digital dreams. --Liz Bailey

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