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.

Pygmalion: Silence, Sound and Space

Pygmalion: Silence, sound and space

There's a certain

amount of traveling

in a dream deferred

(Hughes 1974: 270)


Years ago, in a remote valley in northern Quebec, I heard for the first time the sounds that allowed me to understand lines written 3,000 years earlier:

Try to recall the pause, thock, pause,

Made by axe blades as they pace

Each other through a valuable wood.

Though the work takes place on the far

Side of a valley, and the axe strokes are

Muted by depths of warm, still standing air,

They throb, throb, closely to your ear;

And now and then you catch a phrase

Exchanged between the men who work

More than a mile away, with perfect clarity. (Logue 1988: 26)

The buzz of Europe's close-packed population makes it impossible today to hear with such ...

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