Imaginary futures: from thinking machines to the global village


Veness, Alex (2007) Imaginary futures: from thinking machines to the global village, Russia, Ultra.Cultura

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Description/Abstract

16 commissioned artworks by Alex Veness to accompany text by Richard Barbrook, coordinator of the Hypermedia Research Centre at the University of Westminster.

About the book

This book is a history of the future. It shows how our contemporary understanding of the Net is shaped by visions of the future that were assembled in the 1950s and 1960s.

Richard Barbrook argues that at the height of the Cold War the Americans invented the only working model of communism in human history, the Internet. Yet, for all of its libertarian potential, the goal of this high-tech project was geopolitical dominance. The ownership of time was control over the destiny of humanity. The potentially subversive theory of cybernetics was transformed into the military-friendly project of "artificial intelligence." Capitalist growth became the fastest route to the "information society." The rest of the world was expected to follow America's path into the networked future.

Today, we're still being told that the Net is creating the information society---and that America today is everywhere else tomorrow. Barbrook shows how this idea serves a specific geopolitical purpose. Thankfully, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the DIY ethic of the Net shows that people can resist these authoritarian prophecies by shaping information technologies in their own interest. Ultimately, if we don't want the future to be what it used to be, we must invent our own improved and truly revolutionary future.

Richard Barbrook is the author of a number of highly influential essays on the clash between commerce and cooperation within the Net, including "The Hi-Tech Gift Economy," "Cyber-communism," and (with Andy Cameron) "The Californian Ideology." He has recently published a book on the social groups shaping the information society, The Class of the New. Barbrook is Senior Lecturer in the School of Media, Art and Design at the University Westminster and is a trustee of cybersalon.org/.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: A Russian speaker is currently required to source the ISBN code for this publication. The publisher has a Russian language website at: http://www.ultraculture.ru/. NL - the publication has not yet appeared on Ultra.Culture website
Related URLs:
Keywords: Veness Future futures imaginary barbrook vietnam soviet
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Art
ePrint ID: 43188
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:27
Publisher: Ultra.Cultura
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/43188

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