22nd October event at Goldsmiths

If you’re in London in October you may be interested in this event at Goldsmiths to mark the release of Evil Media, Virality and the next issue of Computational Culture. It’s the first of a number of events related to Virality I’ll be posting about.

Computational Culture, Issue Two

Virality, Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks, by Tony D. Sampson

Evil Media, by Matthew Fuller & Andrew Goffey

22nd October

6pm

Room RHB 342

New Cross

Free, all welcome

To celebrate these publications, informal presentations will be made by the authors of Virality and Evil Media and contributors to Computational Culture.

‘Computational Culture’  is an online open-access peer-reviewed journal of inter-disciplinary enquiry into the nature of cultural computational objects, practices, processes and structures.  The new issue presents articles by Carlos Barreneche, Jennifer Gabrys, Robert W. Gehl & Sarah Bell, Shintaro Miyazaki, Bernhard Rieder, Bernard Stiegler, Annette Vee and reviews by Chiara Bernardi, KevinHamilton, Boris Ružiæ, Felix Stalder and an anonymous contributor.

In ‘Virality’ Tony D. Sampson presents a contagion theory fit for the age of networks. Unlike memes and microbial contagions, Virality does not restrict itself to biological analogies and medical metaphors. It instead points toward a theory of contagious assemblages, events, and affects. For Sampson, contagion is not necessarily a positive or negative force of encounter; it is how society comes together and relates.

[University of Minnesota Press]

‘Evil Media’ invites the reader to explore and understand the abstract infrastructure of the present day. From search engines to flirting strategies, from the value of institutional stupidity to the malicious minutiae of databases, this book shows how the devil is in the details.  The title takes the imperative “Don’t be evil” and asks, what would be done any differently in contemporary computational and networked media were that maxim reversed.

[The MIT Press]

In ‘Sensing an Experimental Forest’, her article for ‘Computational Culture’ 2, Jennifer Gabrys discusses fieldwork conducted at an environmental sensor test site, the James Reserve in California.  The use of wireless sensor networks to study environmental phenomena is an increasingly prevalent practice, and ecological applications of sensors have been central to the development of wireless sensor networks that now extend to numerous ‘participatory’ applications.

Virality

http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/virality

Evil Media

http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=12995

Computational Culture

http://www.computationalculture.net/

About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. He has a PhD in social-cultural-digital contagion theory from the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. He is a former art student who re-entered higher education in the UK as a mature student in the mid-1990s after a long stint as a gigging musician. His career in education has moved through various disciplines and departments, including a maths and computing faculty, sociology department and school of digital media and design His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, July 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK. As a co-founder and co-director of the public engagement initiatives, Club Critical Theory (CCT) and the Cultural Engine Research Group (CERG), Sampson has developed a number of funded research projects and public events that aim to bring impactful critical theories into the community and local political sphere to approach a series of local challenges. These activities have included large conferences co-organized with local authorities looking at a range of policies relating to the revitalization of the Essex costal region, developments in the cultural industries as well as a series of community focused events on food cultures and policy, collaborations with arts groups and informal lectures/workshops in pubs and community centres. Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/ Full academic profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson
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