Skip navigation
Paperback | $30.00 Short | £22.95 | ISBN: 9780262517409 | 320 pp. | 6.875 x 9 in | 33 b&w illus.| January 2012

Mechanisms

New Media and the Forensic Imagination

About the Author

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and the author of the award-winning Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (MIT Press).

Endorsements

“At last in Kirschenbaum's Mechanisms we have our tactical plan for thinking inside the black box of digital media, for moving past 'screen studies' to a new take on electronic media informed by deep understanding of technological practices of inscription and storage. Kirschenbaum introduces a fresh and enlightening dichotomy, that of the interplay of formal and forensic inscription. This dichotomy becomes the raw material for cutting the key to a new critical apparatus for unlocking studies of digital media.”
Henry Lowood, Curator for History of Science & Technology Collections, Germanic Collections, and Film & Media Collections, Stanford University Libraries
“Kirschenbaum's book is the most rigorous, cohesive, historically-informed, materially grounded, and theoretically interesting treatment of the nature of text in the age of digital mutation that I have yet encountered. The book introduces completely new materials and unique archival and site-specific research within an innovative methodological framework blending the new textual scholarship with the equally new discipline of digital forensics. In essence, Kirschenbaum argues that digital texts may be strange things, but they are assuredly things soliciting the same level of material and theoretical inquiry that has driven the recent burst of interest in the history of the book and media archaeology. Mechanisms is destined to be a landmark work for the field of digital textual studies in the same way that Lev Manovitch's Language of New Media was for the digital arts and new media fields.”
Alan Liu, Department of English, University of California, Santa Barbara