Matthew Fuller, Andrew Goffey – Evil Media

Matthew Fuller

The MIT Press, ISBN: 978 0262017855, 248 pages, 2012, English
The term “multimedia” has sounded obsolete for more than a decade now. This book by Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey brings its archaic status into even sharper relief. Here “media” or the strategies of mediating information proliferate almost indefinitely, being mostly digital or networked. Fuller’s previous work “Media Ecologies” is significantly expanded, with focus placed on the pervasive critical interstices of communication, as well as the often ignored small-scale media systems defined as “grey media” – part of the everyday digital mediation of information that helps to define our paradigms, interfaces and methods of communication. The title subverts the hollow Google slogan (“don’t be evil”) into something instantly more interesting. Here there are no magnificent strategies, but forty stratagems (some already published in “Sarai Reader: Fear” and “The Spam Book”), and there’s no ethical pathos, but useful deception. The authors discuss the internal and external methods of communication of certain systems and speculate on the ever-present potential for manipulation. In this book the old “Processed World” zine (which looked at ways to hack office spaces) meets postmodernist French philosophers, being a collection with singular paragraphs almost independent from the others and often not directly pragmatically applicable, but inspiring actions and approaches. The challenge declared is to shake the user from passivity, not to embrace an old-school revolution, but to create and pursue an abstract everyday sabotage.