[iDC] Architecture and Situated Technologies

Gere, Charlie c.gere at lancaster.ac.uk
Tue Jul 4 07:42:33 EDT 2006

Hi all

Following Trebor's post about the Architecture and Situated Technologies
symposium and discussion, in which I am participating, I offer a brief
introduction to who I am and what I am doing

I am Reader in New Media Research in the Institute for Cultural
Research, Lancaster University, Chair of Computers and the History of
Art (CHArt), and I was the Director of Computer Arts, Contexts,
Histories, etc... (CACHe), a three-year research project looking at the
history of early British computer art. I am the author of Digital
Culture (Reaktion Books, 2002), and Art, Time and Technology (Berg,
2006), which concerns artistic and theoretical responses to the
increasing speed of technological development and operation, especially
in terms of so-called 'real-time' digital technologies. 

My current interests include what technologies such as Web 2.0 and
mobile telephony mean in terms of our notions of the self, of community,
and of politics. I am interesting in how they are transforming our
conception of the media as a means of representation. With the Internet,
the World Wide Web, Blogs, Wikis, social networks and peer to peer
technology we are already ceasing to think of our media as mirrors of,
or conduits to a pre-existing world 'out there' and starting to think of
them instead as tools with which we make the world, and ourselves. It
seems to m that new media make concrete Richard Rorty's pragmatist
understanding of language as a tool with which we make and manipulate
our entirely contingent reality and create our selfhoods. Rorty
juxtaposes the private need for self creation with the public need for
solidarity, for defending our particular view of the world, however
contingent, and also for appreciating the plurality of other contingent
and possibly conflicting views. Above all Rorty aims to 'de-divinise'
and poeticise our old metaphysical and theological conceptions of
language. If his definition of language as a tool is extended to media
more generally, then Rorty's ideas are a good starting point for
understanding the cultural and political implications of new media. 


Charlie Gere 
Reader in New Media Research
Director of Research
Institute for Cultural Research 
Lancaster University Lancaster LA1 4YL UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 594446
E-mail: c.gere at lancaster.ac.uk

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