nettime's_digestive_system on 14 Jul 2000 22:43:36 -0000

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<nettime> two recent book announcements

Date: 14 Jul 00 01:34:55 -0500
From: "swiss@drake" <>

The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory: Magic, Metaphor,
Power by Andrew Herman (Editor), Thomas Swiss (Editor)

Paperback - 320 pages 1 edition (July 2000)
Routledge; ISBN: 0415925029
Other Editions: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews

Book Description
The World Wide Web is the most well-known, celebrated, and promoted
contemporary manifestation of "cyberspace." To date, however, most of the
public discourse on the Web falls into the category of explanatory
journalism -- the Web has remained largely unmapped in terms of
contemporary cultural research. This book, however, begins that mapping by
bringing together more than a dozen well-known scholars across the
humanities and social sciences to explore the Web as a cultural technology
characterized by a nexus of economic, political, social, and aesthetic
forces. Engaging the thematic issues of the Web as a space where magic,
metaphor, and power converge, the chapters cover such subjects as The Web
and Corporate Media Systems, Conspiracy Theories and the Web; The Economy
of Cyberpromotion, The Bias of the Web, The Web and Issues of Gender,and so

Contributors: Jody Berland, Jodi Dean, Sean Cubitt, Greg Elmer, Andrew
Herman, Steven Jones, Nancy Kaplan, Robert McChesney, Vincent Mosco, Stuart
Moulthrop, Theresa Senft, Rob Shields, John Sloop, Thomas Swiss, and David


The Robot in the Garden

Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet

edited by Ken Goldberg

The Robot in the Garden initiates a critical theory of telerobotics and
introduces telepistemology, the study of knowledge acquired at a distance.
Many of our most influential technologies, the telescope, telephone, and
television, were developed to provide knowledge at a distance. Telerobots,
remotely controlled robots, facilitate action at a distance. Specialists
use telerobots to explore actively environments such as Mars, the Titanic,
and Chernobyl. Military personnel increasingly employ reconnaissance drones
and telerobotic missiles. At home, we have remote controls for the garage
door, car alarm, and television (the latter a remote for the remote).

The Internet dramatically extends our scope and reach. Thousands of cameras
and robots are now accessible online. Although the role of technical
mediation has been of interest to philosophers since the seventeenth
century, the Internet forces a reconsideration. As the public gains access
to telerobotic instruments previously restricted to scientists and
soldiers, questions of mediation, knowledge, and trust take on new
significance for everyday life.

Telerobotics is a mode of representation. But representations can
misrepresent. If Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds" was the defining moment
for radio, what will be the defining moment for the Internet? As artists
have always been concerned with how representations provide us with
knowledge, the book also looks at telerobotics' potential as an artistic

The seventeen essays, by leading figures in philosophy, art, history, and
engineering, are organized into three sections: Philosophy; Art, History,
and Critical Theory; and Engineering, Interface, and System Design.

Ken Goldberg is Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering and founder
of the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium at the University of
California, Berkeley. His Net art installations include "Dislocation of
Intimacy," "Memento Mori," and the "Telegarden."

7 x 9, 330 pp., 49 illus., cloth ISBN 0-262-07203-3

A Leonardo Book

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