geekartbook shopping

I’m a little bit excited. I just ordered two books that I’ve been desperate to get hold of for ages. I’ve been putting it off because I’m nomadic and trying to keep as little physical stuff as possible lately. But I can’t get these as eBooks, and things are going to get really interesting around here soon. I deserve an inspirational boost every now and then, don’t I?!

I’ve tweeted about them several times before, and, as a disclaimer, I do know them all personally*, but again: BUY THESE BOOKS! They are essential reading if you care about the history of International New Media Arts practice. I’m not saying they’re the only ones that matter, but they’re gold dust to me. By all means please share any other favourites, I’m about to spend a lot more time reading such things.

(*no bribery has taken place)

Synthetics Aspects of Art and Technology in Australia, 1956-1975

Synthetics Aspects of Art and Technology in Australia, 1956-1975

I was at the launch event last year in Sydney for ‘Synthetics, Aspects of Art and Technology in Australia, 1956-1975‘ by Stephen Jones. It’s huge, and the very notion of it made me grin. I have so much to learn about this country, and what better place to start than an aussie geek arts history lesson?!

I met Stephen when he was a peer assessor for one of the Digital Culture Fund grant rounds at the Australia Council. I’ve been promising I’ll buy a copy as soon as I get the bus, but I can’t wait anymore!

 

Euphoria & Dystopia 

And, recently released, Euphoria & Dystopia Edited by Sara Diamond & Sarah Cook. This tree (seriously, it’s massive) captures a small segment of activities around the incredible Banff New Media Institute from 1995-2005. I am spoilt to have spent many good times there since 2001. Each visit slightly changed both my professional and personal world, just a little bit. Enough to reveal a whole world that I knew I wanted to be more deeply part of. I’ll never stop being grateful to BNMI for providing such holistic, generous, inspiring, challenging experiences to a relative newbie. And such a beautiful community of people, each gathering hand-curated by Sara Diamond.

I consider myself very lucky that I am part of a peer community who care so much for what came before. We all stand on the shoulders of giants; epic research efforts like these help us know who we’re thanking. So I’m thanking Stephen, Sara, Sarah, and all the other contributors to this and other media arts histories. Much digital culture has a bad habit of not being well documented or archived. Far too much great work has been lost, corrupt, outdated, erased or requires some particular hardware or software combination that’s impossible to find these days. It will be a real delight to work my way through these valuable fragments as I’m pushing on to the next chapter in my personal creative history.