Programmed Visions: Software and Memory

Programmed Visions: Software and Memory

by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262015420

ISBN-13: 9780262015424

Pub. Date: 04/29/2011

Publisher: MIT Press

New media thrives on cycles of obsolescence and renewal: from celebrations of cyber-everything to Y2K, from the dot-com bust to the next big things—mobile mobs, Web 3.0, cloud computing. In Programmed Visions, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun argues that these cycles result in part from the ways in which new media encapsulates a logic of programmability. New

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Overview

New media thrives on cycles of obsolescence and renewal: from celebrations of cyber-everything to Y2K, from the dot-com bust to the next big things—mobile mobs, Web 3.0, cloud computing. In Programmed Visions, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun argues that these cycles result in part from the ways in which new media encapsulates a logic of programmability. New media proliferates “programmed visions,” which seek to shape and predict—even embody—a future based on past data. These programmed visions have also made computers, based on metaphor, metaphors for metaphor itself, for a general logic of substitutability.

Chun approaches the concept of programmability through the surprising materialization of software as a “thing” in its own right, tracing the hardening of programming into software and of memory into storage. She argues that the clarity offered by software as metaphor should make us pause, because software also engenders a profound sense of ignorance: who knows what lurks behind our smiling interfaces, behind the objects we click and manipulate? The less we know, the more we are shown. This paradox, Chun argues, does not diminish new media’s power, but rather grounds computing’s appeal. Its combination of what can be seen and not seen, known (knowable) and not known—its separation of interface from algorithm and software from hardware—makes it a powerful metaphor for everything we believe is invisible yet generates visible, logical effects, from genetics to the invisible hand of the market, from ideology to culture.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262015424
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
04/29/2011
Series:
Software Studies
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,205,996
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Series Foreword vii

Preface: Programming the Bleeding Edge of Obsolescence xi

Introduction: Software, a Supersensible Sensible Thing 1

You 13

I Invisibly Visible, Visibly Invisible 15

1 On Sourcery and Source Codes 19

Computers that Roar 55

2 Daemonic Interfaces, Empowering Obfuscations 59

II Regenerating Archives 97

3 Order from Order, or Life According to Software 101

The Undead of Information 133

4 Always Already There, or Software as Memory 137

Conclusion: In Medias Res 175

Epilogue: In Medias Race 179

You, Again 181

Notes 183

Index 233

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