This rich collection of writings by pioneering digital artist Mark Amerika
mixes (and remixes) personal memoir, net art theory, fictional narrative,
satirical reportage, scholarly history, and network-infused language art.
META/DATA is a playful, improvisatory, multitrack "digital sampling" of
Amerika's writing from 1993 to 2005 that tells the early history of a net
art world "gone wild" while simultaneously constructing a parallel poetics
of net art that complements Amerika's own artistic practice.
Unlike other new media artists who may create art to justify their
theories, Amerika documents the emergence of new media art forms while he
creates them. Presenting a multifaceted view of the digital art scene on
subjects ranging from interactive storytelling to net art, live VJing,
online curating, and Web publishing, Amerika gives us "Spontaneous
Theories," "Distributed Fictions" (including his groundbreaking
GRAMMATRON, the helpful "Insider's Guide to Avant-Garde Capitalism," and
others), the more scholarly "Academic Remixes," "Net Dialogues"
(peer-to-peer theoretical explorations with other artists and writers),
and the digital salvos of "Amerika Online" (among them,
"Surf-Sample-Manipulate: Playgiarism on the Net," "The Private Life of a
Network Publisher," and satirical thoughts on "Writing as Hactivism").
META/DATA also features a section of full-color images, including some of
Amerika's most well-known and influential works.
Provocative, digressive, nomadic, and fun to read, Amerika's texts call to
mind the cadences of Gertrude Stein, the Beats, cyberpunk fiction, and
even The Daily Show more than they do the usual new media theorizing.
META/DATA maps the world of net culture with Amerika as guide and resident
"META/DATA perfectly captures the essence and style of pioneering net
artist and online fiction writer Mark Amerika. Featuring a mix of
scholarly theory, personal narrative, and conversations with peers, the
book provides both meta data on the artist's multifaceted body of work and
insightful commentary on digital poetics and culture. The personae Amerika
has created for himself--from 'digital thoughtographer' to VJ as
artist-researcher--are reflected as different viewpoints in the book's
stories, theoretical essays, and dialogues, and make it a multilinear read
that mirrors the diversity of digital culture."
--Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum of
"Mark Amerika is at the cutting edge of developments in both art and
technology. META/DATA is an indispensable guide to the promises and
potentials of new media--and also to the hype, irony, and disappointment
that all too often surround them."
--Steven Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University
"Mark Amerika is a hacker. He hacks language, image, sound, identities,
cultures. He plays space, time, and tech like a saxophone. He plays out,
way out sometimes, but he will always beckon you to join him. His writings
are like invitations to a happening party you don't know you are already
at. It's dense, it's hard, but it flows, and it's fun. What more could you
--McKenzie Wark, author of Gamer Theory