A Google executive once said: “If you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet.” But how does one liberate a society that already has the Internet? Publicly, modern government adheres to the twin ideals of institutional transparency and personal privacy. In reality, while citizens are subjected to mass surveillance, government practice goes unchecked. A new generation has taken to the Internet to defend the right to governance without secrets. From Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks to LulzSec and Anonymous, from the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative to the revelations of Edward Snowden, a coalition is breaking through the secrecy that lies at the core of the modern state. The story gets more complex when open government is contrasted with black transparency, and when a geopolitical rift between the West and Russia becomes the dividing line for whistleblowers and transparency activists seeking refuge. What is transparency for one may be propaganda for the other.
The Right to Know in the Age of Mass Surveillance
This book offers a fresh perspective on the popular and acclaimed Amsterdam-based design/art collective Metahaven. Densely illustrated, and very recognizably designed by Metahaven, it is the only survey of its work currently available. Led by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden, Metahaven works between filmmaking, art, research and design; it has produced documentary-based works, music videos, books (such as Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? and Black Transparency) and lectures that investigate matters of propaganda, truth and identity, especially with regard to the structuring of our symbolic realm. The book offers a variety of critical takes on the collective's work and examines its recent shift to moving-image work, thinking through the various ways in which its sprawling oeuvre is embedded in the sociopolitical challenges of the present.
Author: Vinca Kruk,Karen Archey
This book takes an imaginative approach to visual identity. The appearance of organization---corporations, states, and networks---is a game of legitimacy, and an art of stealth. Partially science-fiction story, equally strategic study, essay, comic, and sketchbook, Uncorporate Identity is a concept album of design and architecture. Design studio Metahaven explores branding and identity as geopolitical phenomena---together with architects, geographers, and thinkers including Boris Groys, China Mieville, Keller Easterling, David Grewal, Marina Vishmidt, and others.
Author: Daniel van der Velden,Marina Vishmidt,Vinca Kruk,Metahaven
Publisher: Lars Muller Publishers
"The Iaspis forum on design and critical practice has comprised an exhibition, an international seminar and now a publication on investigative, speculative and critically oriented design. The reader is based on four conversations between graphic designers about various aspects of design relating to their practices. It also contains a number of interviews and other texts linked to these conversations, and a broader discussion about design and transboundary practice."--Book jacket.
Author: Magnus Ericson,International Artists Studio Programme in Sweden
Though we think of the 1960s and the early ‘70s as a time of radical social, cultural, and political upheaval, we tend to picture the action as happening on campuses and in the streets. Yet the rise of the underground newspaper was equally daring and original. Thanks to advances in cheap offset printing, groups involved in antiwar, civil rights, and other social liberation issues began to spread their messages through provocatively designed newspapers and broadsheets. This vibrant new media was essential to the counterculture revolution as a whole—helping to motivate the masses and proliferate ideas. Power to the People presents more than 700 full-color images and excerpts from these astonishing publications, many of which have not been seen since they were first published almost fifty years ago. From the psychedelic pages of the Oracle, Haight-Ashbury’s paper of choice, to the fiery editorials of the Black Panther Party Paper, these papers were remarkable for their editors’ fervent belief in freedom of expression and their DIY philosophy. They were also extraordinary for their graphic innovations. Experimental typography and wildly inventive layouts reflect an alternative media culture as much informed by the space age, television, and socialism as it was by the great trinity of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Assembled by renowned graphic designer Geoff Kaplan, Power to the People pays homage in its layout to the radical press. Beyond its unparalleled images, Power to the People includes essays by Gwen Allen, Bob Ostertag, and Fred Turner, as well as a series of recollections edited by Pamela M. Lee, all of which comment on the critical impact of the alternative press in the social and popular movements of those turbulent years. Power to the People treats the design practices of that moment as activism in its own right that offers a vehement challenge to the dominance of official media and a critical form of self-representation. No other book surveys in such variety the highly innovative graphic design of the underground press, and certainly no other book captures the era with such an unmatched eye toward its aesthetic and look. Power to the People is not just a major compendium of art from the ’60s and ’70s—it showcases how the radical media graphically fashioned the image of a countercultural revolution that still resounds to this day.
The Graphic Design of the Radical Press and the Rise of the Counter-Culture, 1964-1974
Author: Geoff Kaplan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
For graphic design aficionados, few philosophical clashes rival the one that Jan van Toorn and Wim Crouwel engaged in 1972. On the occasion of an exhibition of posters about the Vietnam War, they set out their respective precepts in a debate at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam- Crouwel defended his approach of neutrality and austere rationalism, and van Toorn argued that the designer's ideas and personality should be as present in the work as the content to be designed. The lines were drawn between objectivity and subjectivity in design; the stakes were aesthetic, ethical, even political. This debate has reverberated through graphic design practice across the decades. It is often referred to in modern design criticism as a key marker for the current profusion of design styles. But a translation of the proceedings have never been available to an English-speaking audience-until now. Along with the transcript, The Debatecontains a foreword by eminent graphic design critic Rick Poynor, a historical essay by Frederike Huygen, and a color gallery of works by Crouwel and van Toorn, positioned side-by-side, that demonstrates how their ideological differences translate to their graphic work.
The Legendary Contest of Two Giants of Graphic Design
Author: Wim Crouwel,Jan van Toorn,Dingenus van de Vrie
Publisher: Random House New York
Writings on Graphic Design
Author: Ian Lyman,Randy Nakamura,Chris Ro
A comprehensive political and design theory of planetary-scale computation proposing that The Stack -- an accidental megastructure -- is both a technological apparatus and a model for a new geopolitical architecture.
On Software and Sovereignty
Author: Benjamin H. Bratton
Publisher: MIT Press
Curated by Jon Sueda and featuring 37 projects by Bay Area and international artists, All Possible Futures is the first of three SOMArts Commons Curatorial Residency exhibitions in 2014. The group exhibition explores the potential of graphic design and celebrates a questioning of boundaries regarding concepts, processes, technologies, and form. Contemporary speculative pieces take the form of both physical objects and restaged installations.
Author: Jon Sueda,SOMArts Cultural Center
Category: Graphic arts
A highly provocative, mindbending, beautifully designed, and visionary look at the landscape of our rapidly evolving digital era. 50 years after Marshall McLuhan's ground breaking book on the influence of technology on culture in The Medium is the Massage, Basar, Coupland and Obrist extend the analysis to today, touring the world that’s redefined by the Internet, decoding and explaining what they call the 'extreme present'. THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES is a quick-fire paperback, harnessing the images, language and perceptions of our unfurling digital lives. The authors offer five characteristics of the Extreme Present (see below); invent a glossary of new words to describe how we are truly feeling today; and ‘mindsource’ images and illustrations from over 30 contemporary artists. Wayne Daly’s striking graphic design imports the surreal, juxtaposed, mashed mannerisms of screen to page. It’s like a culturally prescient, all-knowing email to the reader: possibly the best email they will ever read. Welcome to THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES, a paper portrait of Now, where the Internet hasn’t just changed the structure of our brains these past few years, it’s also changing the structure of the planet. This is a new history of the world that fits perfectly in your back pocket. 30+ artists contributions: With contributions from Farah Al Qasimi, Ed Atkins, Alessandro Bavo, Gabriele Basilico, Josh Bitelli, James Bridle, Cao Fei, Alex Mackin Dolan, Thomas Dozol, Constant Dullaart, Cecile B Evans, Rami Farook, Hans-Peter Feldmann, GCC, K-Hole, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Eloise Hawser, Camille Henrot, Hu Fang, K-Hole, Koo Jeong-A, Katja Novitskova, Lara Ogel, Trevor Paglen, Yuri Patterson, Jon Rafman, Bunny Rogers, Bogosi Sekhukhuni, Taryn Simon, Hito Steyerl, Michael Stipe, Rosemarie Trockel, Amalia Ulman, David Weir, Trevor Yeung. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Guide to the Extreme Present
Author: Douglas Coupland,Hans Ulrich Obrist,Shumon Basar
Category: Social Science
Follows the adventures of Max Axiom as he explains the science behind global warming. Written in graphic-novel format.
Author: Camiel van Winkel
Publisher: Nai Uitgevers Pub
An unforgettable German bestseller about the European refugee crisis: “Erpenbeck will get under your skin” (Washington Post Book World) Go, Went, Gone is the masterful new novel by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, “one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation” (The Millions). The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes. Exquisitely translated by Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone addresses one of the most pivotal issues of our time, facing it head-on in a voice that is both nostalgic and frightening.
Author: Jenny Erpenbeck
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
Computer software and its structures, devices and processes are woven into our everyday life. Their significance is not just technical: the algorithms, programming languages, abstractions and metadata that millions of people rely on every day have far-reaching implications for the way we understand the underlying dynamics of contemporary societies. In this innovative new book, software studies theorist Matthew Fuller examines how the introduction and expansion of computational systems into areas ranging from urban planning and state surveillance to games and voting systems are transforming our understanding of politics, culture and aesthetics in the twenty-first century. Combining historical insight and a deep understanding of the technology powering modern software systems with a powerful critical perspective, this book opens up new ways of understanding the fundamental infrastructures of contemporary life, economies, entertainment and warfare. In so doing Fuller shows that everyone must learn ‘how to be a geek’, as the seemingly opaque processes and structures of modern computer and software technology have a significance that no-one can afford to ignore. This powerful and engaging book will be of interest to everyone interested in a critical understanding of the political and cultural ramifications of digital media and computing in the modern world.
Essays on the Culture of Software
Author: Matthew Fuller
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Social Science
Placing the disciplines of performance studies and surveillance studies in a timely critical dialogue, Performance, Transparency, and the Cultures of Surveillance not only theorizes how surveillance performs but also how the technologies and corresponding cultures of surveillance alter the performance of everyday life. This exploration draws upon a rich array of examples from theatre, performance, and the arts, all of which provide vivid illustration of the book’s central argument: that the rise of the surveillance society coincides with a profound collapse of democratic oversight and transparency—a collapse that, in turn, demands a radical rethinking of how performance practitioners conceptualize art and its political efficacy. The book thus makes the case that artists and critics must reexamine—indeed, must radically redefine—their notions of performance if they are to mount any meaningful counter to the increasingly invasive surveillance society.
Author: James M. Harding
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
In recent decades, media outlets in the United States—most notably the Internet—have claimed to serve the public's ever-greater thirst for information. Scandals are revealed, details are laid bare because "the public needs to know." In Publicity's Secret, Jodi Dean claims that the public's demands for information both coincide with the interests of the media industry and reinforce the cynicism promoted by contemporary technoculture. Democracy has become a spectacle, and Dean asserts that theories of the "public sphere" endanger democratic politics in the information age.Dean's argument is built around analyses of Bill Gates, Theodore Kaczynski, popular journalism, the Internet and technology, as well as the conspiracy theory subculture that has marked American history from the Declaration Independence to the political celebrity of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The author claims that the media's insistence on the public's right to know leads to the indiscriminate investigation and dissemination of secrets. Consequently, in her view, the theoretical ideal of the public sphere, in which all processes are transparent, reduces real-world politics to the drama of the secret and its discovery.
How Technoculture Capitalizes on Democracy
Author: Jodi Dean
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Business & Economics
The blockchain is widely heralded as the new internet - another dimension in an ever-faster, ever-more-powerful interlocking of ideas, actions and values. Principally the blockchain is a ledger distributed across a large array of machines that enables digital ownership and exchange without a central administering body. Within the arts it has profound implications as both a means of organising and distributing material, and as a new subject and medium for artistic exploration. This landmark publication will bring together a diverse array of artists and researchers engaged with the blockchain, unpacking, critiquing and marking the arrival of it on the cultural landscape for a broad readership across the arts and humanities. Contributors: Cesar Escudero Andaluz, Jaya Klara Brekke, Theodoros Chiotis, Ami Clarke, Simon Denny, The Design Informatics Research Centre (Edinburgh), Max Dovey, Mat Dryhurst, Primavera De Filippi, Peter Gomes, Elias Haase, Juhee Hahm, Max Hampshire, Kimberley ter Heerdt, Holly Herndon, Helen Kaplinsky, Paul Kolling, Elli Kurus, Nikki Loef, Bjorn Magnhildoen, Rob Myers, Martin Nadal, Rachel O'Dwyer, Edward Picot, Paul Seidler, Hito Steyerl, Surfatial, Lina Theodorou, Pablo Velasco, Ben Vickers, Mark Waugh, Cecilia Wee, and Martin Zeilinger.
Thinking the Blockchain
Author: Ruth Catlow
Category: Art and technology
A comprehensive philosophy of contemporary life and politics, by one of the sharpest critics of the present We live in an age of impotence. Stuck between global war and global finance, between identity and capital, we seem to be incapable of producing the radical change that is so desperately needed. Is there still a way to disentangle ourselves from a global order that shapes our politics as well as our imagination? In his most systematic book to date, renowned Italian theorist Franco Berardi tackles this question through a solid yet visionary analysis of the three fundamental concepts of Possibility, Potency, and Power. Characterizing Possibility as the content, Potency as the energy, and Power as the form, Berardi suggests that the road to emancipation unravels from the awareness that the field of the possible is only limited, and not created, by the power structures that implement it. Other futures and other worlds are always already inscribed within the present, despite power’s attempt at keeping them invisible. Overcoming any temptation of giving in to despair or nostalgia, Berardi proposes the notion of Futurability as a way to remind us that even within the darkness of our current crisis lies dormant the horizon of possibility. From the Hardcover edition.
The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility
Author: Francesco Berardi
Publisher: Verso Books