Engineering Culture


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Engineering Culture
Data Browser 02
Edited by Geoff Cox & Joasia Krysa

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 order to transform the apparatus in the manner of an engineer. This collection of essays and examples of contemporary cultural practices (the second in the DATA browser series) 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. In the 1930s, under particular conditions and against the backdrop of fascism, a certain political optimism made social change seem more possible.1 Can this optimism be maintained when technology operates in the service of capital in ever more insidious ways?CONTENTSINTRODUCTION TO ‘THE AUTHOR AS (DIGITAL) PRODUCER’ – Geoff Cox & Joasia Krysa 007 CONFIGURING THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL ART – etoy 031 THE MACINTOSH COMPUTER: ARCHETYPAL CAPITALIST MACHINE? – William Bowles 039 BIT PLANE – Bureau of Inverse Technology 063 COGNITIVE CAPITALISM AND THE CONTESTED CAMPUS – Nick Dyer-Witheford 071 ENGAGING AMBIVALENCE – The Institute for Applied Autonomy 095 APPROPRIATED TECHNOLOGY WIKI – George Grinsted 106 THE PRODUCER AS POWER USER – Pit Schultz 111 THE PROCESS IS THE PRODUCT – Redundant Technology Initiative 127 BARE CODE: NET ART AND THE FREE SOFTWARE MOVEMENT – Josephine Berry Slater 133 LONDON.PL – Harwood 151 FREAKS OF NUMBER – Matthew Fuller 161 ROOTS CULTURE: FREE SOFTWARE VIBRATIONS INNA BABYLON – Armin Medosch 177 RASTA SOFTWARE – Jaromil 203 X NOTES ON PRACTICE – Raqs Media Collective 209 NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS 229

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