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August 2000, Week 2


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Jud Wolfskill <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 7 Aug 2000 16:10:09 -0400
text/plain (51 lines)
The following is a book which readers of this list might find of interest.
For more information please visit

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 clear-eyed 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.

How can we compare new media to established media? Must we revert to a
default dichotomy between utopia and desolation, the notion that media,
even digital media, by themselves can redeem or damn us? As he answers
these and other questions, Lunenfeld takes into account the post-1989
politico-economic context in which new media have developed and grounds the
insights of theory in the constraints of production. Artists discussed
include Mark Amerika, Char Davies, Hollis Frampton, William Gibson, Gary
Hill, Perry Hobermann, JODI, Christian Möller, Adam Ross, Jennifer
Steinkamp, Stelarc, and Diana Thater.

Peter Lunenfeld is Director of the Institute for Technology and Aesthetics
(ITA), founder of mediawork: The Southern California New Media Working
Group, and a coordinator of the graduate program in Communication and New
Media Design at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. He is the
editor of The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media (MIT Press, 1999).

7 x 9, 240 pp., 38 illus., cloth ISBN 0-262-12226-X

     |       Jud Wolfskill
 |||||||     Associate Publicist                 Phone:  (617) 253-2079
 |||||||     MIT Press                           Fax:  (617) 253-1709
 |||||||     Five Cambridge Center               E-mail:  [log in to unmask]
      |      Cambridge, MA  02142-1493 

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