The aesthetic nature and purposes of computer culture in the contemporary world are investigated in this book. Sean Cubitt casts a cool eye on the claims of cybertopians, tracing the globalization of the new medium and enquiring into its effects on subjectivity and sociality. Drawing on historical scholarship, philosophical aesthetics and the literature of cyberculture, the author argues for a genuine democracy beyond the limitations of the free market and the global corporation. Digital arts are identified as having a vital part to play in this process. Written in a balanced and penetrating style, the book both conveniently summarizes a huge literature and sets a new agenda for research and theory.

Reading the Interface

Reading the interface

When my father died it was like

A whole library had burned down

(Anderson 1994: 227)


In small rooms in clubs, and in customised bars where a quarter buys a few minutes of connection, you can log on to the matrix. You don't spill your coffee, and you don't smoke because it damages the hard drives. There's little to observe, except the absorption, and nothing to understand unless you are absorbed. No two screens show the same thing, quite often not even similar things. And yet there's something familiar. Several things familiar. The book is dead, so the graffiti on the wall says, though there are books on sale here, million-selling titles on netsurfing, virtual homesteading, cyberpunk and hacker theology. Someone is searching ...

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