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(edited by) Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Nick Montfort
The New Media Reader
<book> MIT Press
Mapping the history of new media is an essential task made very difficult by the sheer size of the work involved and the difficult choices which have to be made. The New Media Reader is trying to trace a possible time sequence using an anthology of essays, starting from Borges' literary theories of 1941 until the World Wide Web manifesto written by its founders in 1994. This long (from a technological point of view) time period has seen the most brilliant intellectual leaps made by theoreticians and scientists. They are ideas and projects that have caught the means of communication by storm, completely revolutioning them, and that are now a solid base for contemporary aesthetics. Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, Marshall McLuhan, Nicholas Negroponte, Jean Baudrillard, Deleuze/Guattari, Sherry Turkle, Donna Haraway, Richard Stallman, Brenda Laurel, Langdon Winner, Critical Art Ensemble are among the writers of the most renowned essays. These are intersected with explainations of the techniques which, historically, have influenced the everyday life, such as William Burroughs' cut-ups, the graphic interfaces by Ivan Sutherland, Douglas Engelbart's mouse, Nam June Paik's manifesto, Raymond Queneau's combinatorial literature, Myron Krueger's interactive environments, the comic strips that explain their own structure by Scott McCloud and the reproduction of the catalogue of the historical exhibition held in 1970 at the Jewish Museum named 'Software - Information Technology'. All in all, an essential book for those who want to understand the evolution of the contemporary and its deep and many roots.