Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts
Half a century into the digital era, the profound impact of information technology on intellectual and cultural life is universally acknowledged but still poorly understood. The sheer complexity of the technology coupled with the rapid pace of change makes it increasingly difficult to establish common ground and to promote thoughtful discussion.
Responding to this challenge, Switching Codes brings together leading American and European scholars, scientists, and artists—including Charles Bernstein, Ian Foster, Bruno Latour, Alan Liu, and Richard Powers—to consider how the precipitous growth of digital information and its associated technologies are transforming the ways we think and act. Employing a wide range of forms, including essay, dialogue, short fiction, and game design, this book aims to model and foster discussion between IT specialists, who typically have scant training in the humanities or traditional arts, and scholars and artists, who often understand little about the technologies that are so radically transforming their fields. Switching Codes will be an indispensable volume for anyone seeking to understand the impact of digital technology on contemporary culture, including scientists, educators, policymakers, and artists, alike.
“Switching Codes is a highly interesting and important collection of essays that addresses a current, burgeoning concern with the present condition and future of what we now call Digital Humanities. Most remarkably, this book makes a conscious effort to open questions about the future of scholarship in digitally mediated culture to art that is born digital. This is a book I will refer to frequently.”
“[This book] covers enough ground via specific examples to demonstrate the complex challenges and changes that the digital humanities currently offers to traditional ways of perceiving, thinking, and doing.”
“At a moment when culture's digital makeover seems to have induced epistemological vertigo in many, Switching Codes offers a timely and well-targeted intervention. This book practices what it preaches, provoking cross-disciplinary dialogue and challenging the staid form of the usual essay collection, offering instead an engaging set of critical texts, poetry, fiction, games, and responses. Bartscherer, Coover, and their authors take up the challenges posed by the digital arts and humanities, mapping their new contexts, defining their analytic repertoire, and compelling a fresh set of insights. More than a portrait of our times, Switching Codes exemplifies the very logics that it explicates.”