Hardcover | $24.95 Trade | £18.95 | ISBN: 9780262015479 | 240 pp. | 5.375 x 8 in | April 2011 eBook |$17.95 Trade | ISBN: 9780262296588 | 240 pp. | April 2011

Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine

## Overview

The computer, writes Peter Lunenfeld, is the twenty-first century’s culture machine. It is a dream device, serving as the mode of production, the means of distribution, and the site of reception. We haven’t quite achieved the flying cars and robot butlers of futurist fantasies, but we do have a machine that can function as a typewriter and a printing press, a paintbrush and a gallery, a piano and a radio, the mail as well as the mail carier. But, warns Lunenfeld, we should temper our celebration with caution; we are engaged in a secret war between downloading and uploading—between passive consumption and active creation--and the outcome will shape our collective futures.

Peter Lunenfeld is Professor of Design Media Arts at UCLA.

## Reviews

“This is a relatively short, deftly written and attractively published book...I haven’t come across a better book on this general topic, or a potentially more influential one.”—William Kowinski, North Coast Journal
“Well known as one of the best analysts of digital culture, he opens here a certain number of historical, cultural, political, and ideological questions that make this book a real must-read for all those looking for new answers to the problems that modern technoculture has been facing...”—Jan Baetans, Leonardo Online
The Secret War Between Uploading and Downloading by Peter Lunenfeld is the most insightful work on web realpolitik I've read in a couple of years. His analysis/analogy of how ideas emerge to take hold of public discourse and then fade again, based on the Gestalt notion of "figure/ground" (you'll get it when you read it...) has altered the way I see the webworld, and will significantly change the way I talk to clients about what's going on out there.”—The Strategy Review

## Endorsements

“'Cultural diabetes,' 'plutopian meliorism,' and 'Teflon objects' are only a few of the extraordinarily vivid concepts Peter Lunenfeld points out in this fascinating and impressionistic journey of the key cultural and technological events—from the atomic bomb to the ubiquity of Google—that have landed us in our brave new networked, searchable, and data-filled world.”
Judith Donath, Faculty Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University