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<nettime> [New books] The Robot in the Garden & Snap to Grid
Arun-Kumar Tripathi on 5 Aug 2000 16:43:42 -0000

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<nettime> [New books] The Robot in the Garden & Snap to Grid

Greetings members,

[Hi, I thought --this might interest you --two important books, from the
storehouse of MIT Press. Dr. Peter Lunenfeld --net artist, working at Art
Center College of Design (see http://www.artcenter.edu) he is writer/critic 
-specialising in the history and theory of Imaging Technologies --edited
another book, "The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media" --published
by MIT Press. David Hunt in the review of "The Digital Dialectic: New
Essays on New Media" in ARTBYTE (see http://www.artbyte.com) the Magazine
of Digital Culture, Issue January-February 2000 has written "..Digital
culture's promise of total connectivity, instant collapsing of space and
time, and deluges of information at your fingertips proves to be its
biggest shortcoming when evaluatng critical discourse.." Thank you.

Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 16:17:37 -0400
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskil {AT} MIT.EDU>

The Robot in the Garden
Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet
edited by Ken Goldberg

The Robot in the Garden initiates a critical theory of telerobotics and
introduces telepistemology, the study of knowledge acquired at a distance.
Many of our most influential technologies, the telescope, telephone, and
television, were developed to provide knowledge at a distance. Telerobots,
remotely controlled robots, facilitate action at a distance. Specialists
use telerobots to explore actively environments such as Mars, the Titanic,
and Chernobyl. Military personnel increasingly employ reconnaissance drones
and telerobotic missiles. At home, we have remote controls for the garage
door, car alarm, and television (the latter a remote for the remote).

The Internet dramatically extends our scope and reach. Thousands of cameras
and robots are now accessible online. Although the role of technical
mediation has been of interest to philosophers since the seventeenth
century, the Internet forces a reconsideration. As the public gains access
to telerobotic instruments previously restricted to scientists and
soldiers, questions of mediation, knowledge, and trust take on new
significance for everyday life.
7 x 9, 330 pp., 49 illus., cloth ISBN 0-262-07203-3
A Leonardo Book

Snap to Grid
A User's Guide to Digital Arts, Media, and Cultures
Peter Lunenfeld

In Snap to Grid, an idiosyncratic guide to the interactive, telematic era,
Peter Lunenfeld maps out the trajectories that digital technologies have
traced upon our cultural imaginary. His evaluation of new media includes an
impassioned discussion--informed by the discourses of technology,
aesthetics, and cultural theory--of the digital artists, designers, and
makers who matter most. "Snap to grid" is a command that instructs the
computer to take hand-drawn lines and plot them precisely in Cartesian
space. Users regularly disable this function the moment they open an
application because the gains in predictability and accuracy are balanced
against the losses of ambiguity and expressiveness. Lunenfeld uses "snap to
grid" as a metaphor for how we manipulate and think about the electronic
culture that enfolds us. In this book he snaps his seduction by the machine
to the grid of critical thinking.
7 x 9, 240 pp., 38 illus., cloth ISBN 0-262-12226-X

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