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.

Spatial Effects

Spatial effects

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies

When a new planet swims into his ken;

Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes

He star'd at the Pacific – and all his men

Look'd at each other with a wild surmise

(Keats 1956 [1817]: 38)

The Trouble with Hubble

It swings across the globe about 380 miles up, clear of the pollution and turbulence of the atmosphere, sensitive to the minutest fractions of light from objects billions of years and trillions of miles away. With instruments of unprecedented resolution, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is to capture and analyse light that has travelled 12 billion light years. The craft can hold itself steady for 24 hours at a time, locked on to the tiniest suggestion of light ...

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