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ISBN-10: 0262621371

ISBN-13: 9780262621373

The electronic Dialectic is an interdisciplinary jam consultation approximately our visible and highbrow cultures because the desktop recodes applied sciences, media, and artwork kinds. not like simply educational texts on new media, the booklet comprises contributions via students, artists, and marketers, who mix theoretical investigations with hands-on research of the probabilities (and barriers) of latest know-how. the most important proposal is the electronic dialectic: a mode to flooring the insights of concept within the constraints of perform. The essays movement past journalistic reportage and hype into severe yet obtainable dialogue of latest applied sciences, new media, and new cultural kinds.

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The battle between the telecommunications legislators and the Electronic Frontier Foundation confirms the fact that cyberspace is contested territory. '" The cultural struggle over cyberspace signals the need to rethink dialectic so that we can enter it properly. The cyberspace debate reveals a subtle groundswell presaging the pulse of the next century. Some historians, in fact, gauge the twentieth century as one of the shorter centuries, one of those epochs that ends betixe its official centennial birrhday.

Hegel developed his notion of the dialectic to include the back-and-forth process of social movements where one ad­ vance in freedom evokes its opposite reaction, which in turn calls forth another and opposite reaction, and so forth. Dialectic was not simply an The Cyberspace Dialectic - abstract template of "thesis-anti thesis-synthesis" to be applied in a doctri­ naire manner to politics. Dialectic was, rather, the concrete movement of social history itself. Marx, the next signpost in the development of the dia­ lectic, identified history with the history of civil wars and violent revolu­ tions, but Hegel's dialectic originally included the more subtle shifting forces of social change that propel human evolution.

The Web as it is presently constituted is essentially a collection of two­ dimensional data spaces with a limited visual palette. We have to anticipate that those few prototypes of three-and-more-dimensional virtual spaces will eventually proliferate and coalesce into what Marcos Novak so elegantly refers to as the liquid architecture of cyberspaceY Where will the aesthetic of unfinish lead us in these yet to be designed realms' Before answering that, I want to a step back and examine the impact that the computer is having on our very conception of what constitutes architecture.

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The Digital Dialectic. New Essays on New Media


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