B. Coleman

B. Coleman is Assistant Professor of Writing and New Media in MIT's Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and Comparative Media Studies. She is Faculty Director of the C3 Game Culture and Mobile Media initiative.

  • Hello Avatar

    Hello Avatar

    Rise of the Networked Generation

    B. Coleman

    An examination of our many modes of online identity and how we live on the continuum between the virtual and the real.

    Hello Avatar! Or, {llSay(0, "Hello, Avatar!"); is a tiny piece of user-friendly code that allows us to program our virtual selves. In Hello Avatar, B. Coleman examines a crucial aspect of our cultural shift from analog to digital: the continuum between online and off-, what she calls the “x-reality” that crosses between the virtual and the real. She looks at the emergence of a world that is neither virtual nor real but encompasses a multiplicity of network combinations. And she argues that it is the role of the avatar to help us express our new agency—our new power to customize our networked life.

    By avatar, Coleman means not just the animated figures that populate our screens but the gestalt of images, text, and multimedia that make up our online identities—in virtual worlds like Second Life and in the form of email, video chat, and other digital artifacts. Exploring such network activities as embodiment, extreme (virtual) violence, and the work in virtual reality labs, and offering sidebar interviews with designers and practitioners, she argues that what is new is real-time collaboration and copresence, the way we make connections using networked media and the cultures we have created around this. The star of this drama of expanded horizons is the networked subject—all of us who represent aspects of ourselves and our work across the mediascape.

    • Hardcover $44.95 £38.00

Contributor

  • Bauhaus Futures

    Bauhaus Futures

    Laura Forlano, Molly Wright Steenson, and Mike Ananny

    Essays, photo-essays, interviews, manifestos, diagrams, and a play explore the varied legacies, influences, and futures of the Bauhaus.

    What would keep the Bauhaus up at night if it were practicing today? A century after its founding by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany, as an “experimental laboratory of the future,” who are the pioneering experimentalists who reinscribe or resist Bauhaus traditions? This book explores the varied legacies, influences, and futures of the Bauhaus.

    Many of the animating issues of the Bauhaus—its integration of research, teaching, and practice; its experimentation with materials; its democratization of design; its open-minded, heterogeneous approach to ideas, theories, methods, and styles—remain relevant. The contributors to Bauhaus Futures address these but go further, considering issues that design has largely ignored for the last hundred years: gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and disability. Their contributions take the form of essays, photo-essays, interviews, manifestos, diagrams, and even a play. They discuss, among other things, the Bauhaus curriculum and its contemporary offshoots; Bauhaus legacies at the MIT Media Lab, Black Mountain College, and elsewhere; the conflict between the Bauhaus ideal of humanist universalism and current approaches to design concerned with race and justice; designed objects, from the iconic to the precarious; textile and weaving work by women in the Bauhaus and the present day; and design and technology.

    Contributors Alice Arnold, Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, Karen Kornblum Berntsen, Marshall Brown, Stuart Candy, Jessica Charlesworth, Elizabeth J. Chin, Taeyoon Choi, B. Coleman, Carl DiSalvo, Michael J. Golec, Kate Hennessy, Matthew Hockenberry, Joi Ito, Denisa Kera, N. Adriana Knouf, Silvia Lindtner, Shannon Mattern, Ramia Mazé, V. Mitch McEwen, Oliver Neumann, Paul Pangaro, Tim Parsons, Nassim Parvin, Joanne Pouzenc, Luiza Prado de O. Martin, Daniela K. Rosner, Natalie Saltiel, Trudi Lynn Smith, Carol Strohecker, Alex Taylor, Martin Thaler, Fred Turner, Andre Uhl, Jeff Watson, Robert Wiesenberger

    • Hardcover $35.00 £28.00
  • Civic Media

    Civic Media

    Technology, Design, Practice

    Eric Gordon and Paul Mihailidis

    Examinations of civic engagement in digital culture—the technologies, designs, and practices that support connection through common purpose in civic, political, and social life.

    Countless people around the world harness the affordances of digital media to enable democratic participation, coordinate disaster relief, campaign for policy change, and strengthen local advocacy groups. The world watched as activists used social media to organize protests during the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution. Many governmental and community organizations changed their mission and function as they adopted new digital tools and practices. This book examines the use of “civic media”—the technologies, designs, and practices that support connection through common purpose in civic, political, and social life. Scholars from a range of disciplines and practitioners from a variety of organizations offer analyses and case studies that explore the theory and practice of civic media.

    The contributors set out the conceptual context for the intersection of civic and media; examine the pressure to innovate and the sustainability of innovation; explore play as a template for resistance; look at civic education; discuss media-enabled activism in communities; and consider methods and funding for civic media research. The case studies that round out each section range from a “debt resistance” movement to government service delivery ratings to the “It Gets Better” campaign aimed at combating suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth. The book offers a valuable interdisciplinary dialogue on the challenges and opportunities of the increasingly influential space of civic media.

    • Hardcover $55.00 £45.00
  • Sound Unbound

    Sound Unbound

    Sampling Digital Music and Culture

    Paul D. Miller

    The role of sound and digital media in an information-based society: artists—from Steve Reich and Pierre Boulez to Chuck D and Moby—describe their work.

    If Rhythm Science was about the flow of things, Sound Unbound is about the remix—how music, art, and literature have blurred the lines between what an artist can do and what a composer can create. In Sound Unbound, Rhythm Science author Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid asks artists to describe their work and compositional strategies in their own words. These are reports from the front lines on the role of sound and digital media in an information-based society. The topics are as diverse as the contributors: composer Steve Reich offers a memoir of his life with technology, from tape loops to video opera; Miller himself considers sampling and civilization; novelist Jonathan Lethem writes about appropriation and plagiarism; science fiction writer Bruce Sterling looks at dead media; Ron Eglash examines racial signifiers in electrical engineering; media activist Naeem Mohaiemen explores the influence of Islam on hip hop; rapper Chuck D contributes “Three Pieces”; musician Brian Eno explores the sound and history of bells; Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno interview composer-conductor Pierre Boulez; and much more. “Press 'play,'” Miller writes, “and this anthology says 'here goes.'”

    The groundbreaking music that accompanies the book features Nam Jun Paik, the Dada Movement, John Cage, Sonic Youth, and many other examples of avant-garde music. Most of this content comes from the archives of Sub Rosa, a legendary record label that has been the benchmark for archival sounds since the beginnings of electronic music. To receive these free music files, readers may send an email to the address listed in the book.

    Contributors David Allenby, Pierre Boulez, Catherine Corman, Chuck D, Erik Davis, Scott De Lahunta, Manuel DeLanda, Cory Doctorow, Eveline Domnitch, Frances Dyson, Ron Eglash, Brian Eno, Dmitry Gelfand, Dick Hebdige, Lee Hirsch, Vijay Iyer, Ken Jordan, Douglas Kahn, Daphne Keller, Beryl Korot, Jaron Lanier, Joseph Lanza, Jonathan Lethem, Carlo McCormick, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, Moby, Naeem Mohaiemen, Alondra Nelson, Keith and Mendi Obadike, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Pauline Oliveros, Philippe Parreno, Ibrahim Quaraishi, Steve Reich, Simon Reynolds, Scanner aka Robin Rimbaud, Nadine Robinson, Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), Alex Steinweiss, Bruce Sterling, Lucy Walker, Saul Williams, Jeff E. Winner

    • Paperback $39.95 £32.00