Evil Media develops a philosophy of media power that extends the concept of media beyond its tried and trusted use in the games of meaning, symbolism, and truth. It addresses the gray zones in which media exist as corporate work systems, algorithms and data structures, twenty-first century self-improvement manuals, and pharmaceutical techniques. Evil Media invites the reader to explore and understand the abstract infrastructure of the present day. From search engines to flirting strategies, from the value of institutional stupidity to the malicious minutiae of databases, this book shows how the devil is in the details.
The title takes the imperative “Don’t be evil” and asks, what would be done any differently in contemporary computational and networked media were that maxim reversed.
Media here are about much more and much less than symbols, stories, information, or communication: media do things. They incite and provoke, twist and bend, leak and manage. In a series of provocative stratagems designed to be used, Evil Media sets its reader an ethical challenge: either remain a transparent intermediary in the networks and chains of communicative power or become oneself an active, transformative medium.
About the Authors
Matthew Fuller is David Gee Reader in Digital Media at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of Behind the Blip: Essays on the Culture of Software and Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture (MIT Press, 2005) and editor of Software Studies: A Lexicon (MIT Press, 2008).
Andrew Goffey is Associate Professor of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham. He is the coeditor, with Éric Alliez, of The Guattari Effect and the translator of Isabelle Stengers and Philippe Pignarre's Capitalist Sorcery, of Félix Guattari's Schizoanalytic Cartographies, and of work by Maurizio Lazzarato, Barbara Cassin, and Etienne Balibar. He is also coeditor of the journal Computational Culture.