Technoculture is a series of critical essays exploring the interactions between, and politics of, technology and culture. The collection includes an interview with science historian Donna Haraway ("Cyborg Manifesto"), essays on reproductive technologies, AIDS activism, rap music, Japanese manga, "techno-art," and video technologies.
Andrew Ross' essay "Hacking Away at the Counterculture," does an admirable job of surveying the hacker underground, only periodically betraying Ross' armchair knowledge of same. Peter Fitting contributes a worthwhile exposition on cyberpunk fiction and its relevance to postmodern thinking and future culture.
One can often learn about one's (sub)culture by seeing it through an outsider's eye. This collection offers valuable insights into how academia is talking about technology and about how they are "reading" cyberculture.
Constance Penley and Andrew Ross, eds.
University of Minnesota Press
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Minneapolis, MN 55414
graphic: Appleseed (Japanese manga)
Here is the TEXT POPUP for Technoculture
In the technologically-mediated everyday life of late capitalism, you were pointing out that nature was not immune to the contagions of technology, that technology was part of nature conceived as everyday social relations, and that women, especially, had better start using technology before technology starts using them. In other words, we need techno-realism to replace a phobic naturalism.
- Constance Penley talking to Donna Haraway
The hacker ethic, which has remained the preserve of youth culture for the most part, asserts the basic right of users to free access to all information. It is a principled attempt, in other words, to challenge the tendency to use technology to form information elites.
- Andrew Ross
Technoliteracy, for us, is the challenge to make a historical opportunity out of a historical necessity.
- Andrew Ross
In its more appropriate aspects...techno-art is a powerful and appropriate vehicle of cultural confrontation and discursive commentary upon the technological religion of our times. Because it embraces the contradictions of our technically advanced society, and amplifies those very tendencies that expose the contradictions, it raises the specter of our extreme hopes and fears regarding technology.
- Jim Pomeroy