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Description - Snap to Grid by Peter Lunenfeld

In "Snap to Grid", an idiosyncratic guide to the interactive, telematic era, Peter Lunenfeld maps out the trajectories that digital technologies have traced upon our cultural imaginary. His clear-eyed evaluation of new media includes an impassioned discussion - informed by the discourses of technology, aesthetics and cultural theory - of the digital artists, designers and makers who matter most. "Snap to grid" is a command that instructs the computer to take hand-drawn lines and plot them precisely in Cartesian space. Users regularly disable this function the moment they open an application because the gains in predictability and accuracy are balanced against the losses of ambiguity and expressiveness. Lunenfeld uses "snap to grid" as a metaphor for how we manipulate and think about the electronic cutltre that enfolds us. In this book he snaps his seduction by the machine to the grid of critical thinking. How can we compare new media to established media? Must we revert to a default dichotomy between utopia and desolation, the notion that media, even digital media, by themselves can redeem or damn us? As he answers these and other questions, Lunenfeld takes into account the post-1989 politico-economic context in which new media have developed and grounds the insights of theory in the constraints of production. Artists discussed include Mark Amerika, Char Davies, Hollis Frampton, William Gibson, Gary Hill, Perry Hobermann, JODI, Christian Moller, Adam Ross, Jennifer Steinkamp, Stelarc and Diana Thater.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262621588
ISBN-10: 0262621584
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 178mm x 13mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 24-Aug-2001
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Peter Lunenfeld

Peter Lunenfeld is Director of the Institute for Technology and Aesthetics (ITA), founder of mediawork: The Southern California New Media Working Group, and a coordinator of the graduate program in Communication and New Media Design at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. He is the editor of The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media (MIT Press, 1999).

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