Small Tech - The Culture of Digital Tools

Small Tech
The Culture of Digital Tools

Byron Hawk, David M. Rieder, and Ollie Oviedo, Editors
Electronic Mediations, Volume 22
University of Minnesota Press
Minneapolis • London
(forthcoming 2008)

The essays in Small Tech investigate the cultural impact of digital tools and provide fresh perspectives on mobile technologies such as iPods, digital cameras, and PDAs and software functions like cut, copy, and paste and WYSIWYG. Together they advance new thinking about digital environments.




Introduction: On Small Tech and Complex Ecologies
Byron Hawk and David M. Rieder

Traditional Software in New Ecologies

Data Visualization as New Abstraction and as Anti-Sublime
Lev Manovich

Softvideography: Digital Video as Postliterate Practice
Adrian Miles

Technopolitics, Blogs, and Emergent Media Ecologies: A Critical/Reconstructive Approach
Richard Kahn and Douglas Kellner

Remembering Dinosaurs: Toward an Archaeological Understanding of Digital Photo Manipulation
Karla Saari Kitalong

Cut, Copy, and Paste
Lance Strate

Dreamweaver and the Procession of Simulations: What You See Is Not Why You Get What You Get
Sean D. Williams

Revisiting the Matter and Manner of Linking in New Media
Collin Gifford Brooke

ScriptedWriting() { Exploring Generative Dimensions of Writing in Flash Actionscript
David M. Rieder

Small Tech and Cultural Contexts

Overhearing: The Intimate Life of Cell Phones
Jenny Edbauer Rice

I Am a DJ, I Am What I Say: The Rise of Podcasting
Paul Cesarini

Walking with Texts: Using PDAs to Manage Textual Information
Jason Swarts

Text Messaging: Rhetoric in a New Keypad
Wendy Warren Austin

Beyond Napster: Peer-to-Peer Technology and Network Culture
Michael Pennell

Communication Breakdown: The Postmodern Space of Google
Johndan Johnson-Eilola

Let There Be Light in the Digital Darkroom: Digital Ecologies and the New Photography
Robert A. Emmons Jr.

“A Demonstration of Practice”: The Real Presence of Digital Video
Veronique Chance

Buffering Bergson: Matter and Memory in 3D Games
Julian Oliver

Shifting Subjects in Locative Media
Teri Rueb

Future Technologies and Ambient Environments

Virtual Reality as a Teaching Tool: Learning by Configuring
James J. Sosnoski

Digital Provocations and Applied Aesthetics: Projects in Speculative Computing
Johanna Drucker

Dehumanization, Rhetoric, and the Design of Wearable Augmented Reality Interfaces
Isabel Pedersen

Sousveillance: Wearable and Digital Tools in Surveilled Environments
Jason Nolan, Steve Mann, and Barry Wellman

Ambient Video: The Transformation of the Domestic Cinematic Experience
Jim Bizzocchi

Sound in Domestic Virtual Environments
Jeremy Yuille

Getting Real and Feeling in Control: Haptic Interfaces
Joanna Castner Post

16. Digital Craft and Digital Touch: Hands-on Design with an “Undo” Button
Mark Paterson

Grand Text Auto at the Beall Center, UCI

Grand Text Auto will be presented at The Beall Center for Art and
Technology, UC Irvine, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, 712 Arts
Plaza,Irvine, CA 92697-2775

OPENING RECEPTION: October 4th, 6:30pm-9:00pm
SYMPOSIUM: October 5th, 1:00-5:00pm
PERFORMANCE: October 5th, 6:00-8:00pm

Many blogs have become books - from The Baghdad Blog to Belle de Jour. But Grand Text Auto is the first blog ever to become a gallery exhibition. It opens October 4th and runs through December 15th. The exhibition features the work of Grand Text Auto members (CRCA Researcher) Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Mary Flanagan, Michael Mateas, Andrew Stern, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg, and their collaborators.

Grand Text Auto is a blog about the potential of digital media, from literary websites to experimental computer games. At the exhibition, the blog members will put these ideas into practice, showing a variety of cutting edge works. Some use the latest in artificial intelligence technology, such as Mateas and Stern's interactive drama Façade - of which The New York Times says, "This is the future of video games." The Beall exhibition will feature the first public showing of a life-sized "augmented reality" version of Façade, created in collaboration with Georgia Tech's GVU Center. Virtual reality is also on display, as with Wardrip-Fruin's collaborative work Screen, a literary game played with 3D text - never seen before outside of a research lab and presented with support from UC San Diego's Center for Research in Computing and the Arts. On the other hand, some works in the exhibition use decidedly do-it-yourself techniques, such as Montfort and Rettberg's Implementation, an experimental novel distributed around the world on mailing labels. Others are quirky, such as Flanagan's [giantJoystick], a replica Atari 2600 joystick so large that two people must work together to play (this has its North American debut at the Beall show).

In addition to the gallery show, the members of Grand Text Auto are working together with the Beall Center to present a live symposium and performance evening, both on October 5th. The afternoon symposium (1-5 p.m.) will discuss the power of collaborative blogging, new directions for computer games, and the place of language in digital media. The evening performance (6-8 p.m.) will feature the disturbing and humorous interactive cinema experience Terminal Time (which automatically creates outrageously biased documentaries of the past millennium) and a live performance of the award-winning hypertext novel The Unknown (which tells the tale of a rollicking cross-country book tour).

Further information:,
(949) 824-4339