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216 × 138 × 15 mm
248 pages
52 illustrations
10 Feb 2002
  • £14.95

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Digital Culture Charlie Gere

During the last twenty years, digital technology has begun to touch on almost every aspect of our lives. Nowadays most forms of mass media, television, recorded music and film are produced and even distributed digitally; and these media are beginning to converge with digital forms, such as the internet, the World Wide Web, and video games, to produce a seamless digital mediascape. At work we are surrounded by technology, whether in offices or in supermarkets and factories, where almost every aspect of planning, design, marketing, production and distribution is monitored or controlled digitally.

In Digital Culture Charlie Gere articulates the degree to which our everyday lives are becoming dominated by digital technology, whether in terms of leisure, work or bureaucracy. This dominance is reflected in other areas, including the worlds of finance, technology, scientific research, media and telecommunications. Out of this situation a particular set of cultural responses has emerged, for example, in art, music, design, film, literature and elsewhere.

This book offers a new perspective on digital culture by examining its development, and reveals that, despite appearances, it is neither radically new, nor ultimately technologically driven. The author traces its roots to the late eighteenth century, and shows how it sprang from a number of impulses, including the information needs of industrial capitalism and contemporary warfare, avant-garde artistic practice, counter-cultural experimentation, radical philosophy and sub-cultural style. It is these conditions that produced both digital technology and digital culture, and which have determined how they develop.

‘There are lots of illustrations of early technological advances, which always look endearingly quaint. But the outstanding characteristic, in a field where pretentious obfuscation often seems obligatory, is that Gere can not only string a sentence together, but also uses those sentences to produce cogent and interesting arguments. He concludes that our digital culture has been built from elements including: Cold War defence technologies avant-garde art practice counter-cultural techno-utopianism Post-Modernist critical theory new wave subcultural style . . .’ — Architect's Journal

‘This is an excellent book. It gives an almost complete overview of the main trends and views of what is generally called digital culture through the whole post-war period as well as a thorough exposition of the history of the computer and its predecessors and the origins of the modern division of labour.’ — Journal of Visual Culture

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Charlie Gere is Reader in New Media Research and Director of the Institute for Cultural Research, University of Lancaster. He is co-editing with Robin Boast an anthology entitled Allegories of the Information Age (forthcoming).

Introduction: What is Digital Culture?
1. The Beginnings of Digital Culture
2. The Cybernetic Era
3. The Digital Avant-garde
4. The Digital Counter-culture
5. Digital Resistances
Conclusion: Digital Nature