DATA Browser

Engineering Culture

Engineering Culture: On “The Author as (Digital) Producer”; DATA browser #02; edited by Geoff Cox & Joasia Krysa, published by Autonomedia; All texts released under a Creative Commons License; ISBN 1-57027-170-4; pp. 240; BUY from Autonomedia or Amazon or DOWNLOAD FREE.

Date:
2005

Commitment is a necessary, but never a sufficient, condition for a writer’s work acquiring an organizing function. For this to happen it is also necessary for the writer to have a teacher’s attitude. And today this is more than ever an essential demand. A writer who does not teach other writers teaches nobody. The crucial point, therefore, is that a writer’s production must have the character of a model: it must be able to instruct other writers in their production and, secondly, it must be able to place an improved apparatus at their disposal. The apparatus will be better, the more consumers it brings into contact with the production process - in short, the more readers or spectators it turns into collaborators.’ (Benjamin)

Social change does not simply result from resistance to the existing set of conditions but from adapting and transforming the technical apparatus itself. Walter Benjamin in his essay ‘The Author as Producer’, written in 1934, recommends that the ‘cultural producer’ intervene in the production process in the manner of an engineer. The term ‘engineer’ is to be taken broadly to refer to technical and cultural activity, through the application of knowledge for the management, control and use of power. To act as an engineer in this sense, is to use power productively to bring about change and for public utility. This collection of essays and examples of contemporary cultural practices asks if this general line of thinking retains relevance for cultural production at this point in time - when activities of production, consumption and circulation operate through complex global networks served by information technologies.

contents:

INTRODUCTION TOTHE AUTHOR AS (DIGITAL) PRODUCER’, Geoff Cox, Joasia Krysa

CONFIGURING THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL ART, etoy

THE MACINTOSH COMPUTER: ARCHETYPAL CAPITALIST MACHINE? , William Bowles

BIT PLANE, Bureau of Inverse Technology

COGNITIVE CAPITALISM AND THE CONTESTED CAMPUS, Nick Dyer-Witheford

ENGAGING AMBIVALENCE, The Institute for Applied Autonomy

APPROPRIATED TECHNOLOGY WIKI, George Grinsted

THE PRODUCER AS POWER USER, Pit Schultz

THE PROCESS IS THE PRODUCT, Redundant Technology Initiative

BARE CODE: NET ART AND THE FREE SOFTWARE MOVEMENT, Josephine Berry Slater

LONDON.PL, Harwood

FREAKS OF NUMBER, Matthew Fuller

ROOTS CULTURE: FREE SOFTWARE VIBRATIONS INNA BABYLON, Armin Medosch

RASTA SOFTWARE, Jaromil

X NOTES ON PRACTICE, Raqs Media Collective

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

The DATA browser series presents critical texts that explore issues at the intersection of culture and technology. This volume is produced in association with Arts Council England and University of Plymouth.

http://www.data-browser.net/02/