Chris Salter

Chris Salter is an artist, Codirector of the Hexagram network and University Research Chair in New Media, Technology, and the Senses at Concordia University, Montreal. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance (MIT Press).

  • Alien Agency

    Alien Agency

    Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making

    Chris Salter

    An investigation into what happens in creative practice when the materials of art and research behave and perform in ways beyond the creators' intentions.

    In Alien Agency, Chris Salter tells three stories of art in the making. Salter examines three works in which the materials of art—the “stuff of the world”—behave and perform in ways beyond the creator's intent, becoming unknown, surprising, alien. Studying these works—all three deeply embroiled in and enabled by science and technology—allows him to focus on practice through the experiential and affective elements of creation. Drawing on extensive ethnographic observation and on his own experience as an artist, Salter investigates how researcher-creators organize the conditions for these experimental, performative assemblages—assemblages that sidestep dichotomies between subjects and objects, human and nonhuman, mind and body, knowing and experiencing.

    Salter reports on the sound artists Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger (O+A) and their efforts to capture and then project unnoticed urban sounds; tracks the multi-year project TEMA (Tissue Engineered Muscle Actuators) at the art research lab SymbioticA and its construction of a hybrid “semi-living” machine from specially grown mouse muscle cells; and describes a research-creation project (which he himself initiated) that uses light, vibration, sound, smell, and other sensory stimuli to enable audiences to experience other cultures' “ways of sensing.” Combining theory, diary, history, and ethnography, Salter also explores a broader question: How do new things emerge into the world and what do they do?

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
  • Entangled

    Entangled

    Technology and the Transformation of Performance

    Chris Salter

    How technologies, from the mechanical to the computational, have transformed artistic performance practices.

    This ambitious and comprehensive book explores technology's influence on artistic performance practices in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Entangled, Chris Salter shows that technologies, from the mechanical to the computational—from a “ballet of objects and lights” staged by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1917 to contemporary technologically-enabled “responsive environments”—have been entangled with performance across a wide range of disciplines. Salter examines the rich and extensive history of performance experimentation in theater, music, dance, the visual and media arts, architecture, and other fields; explores the political, social, and economic context for the adoption of technological practices in art; and shows that these practices have a set of common histories despite their disciplinary borders.

    Each chapter in Entangled focuses on a different form: theater scenography, architecture, video and image making, music and sound composition, body-based arts, mechanical and robotic art, and interactive environments constructed for research, festivals, and participatory urban spaces. Salter's exhaustive survey and analysis shows that performance traditions have much to teach other emerging practices—in particular in the burgeoning fields of new media. Students of digital art need to master not only electronics and code but also dramaturgy, lighting, sound, and scenography. Entangled will serve as an invaluable reference for students, researchers, and artists as well as a handbook for future praxis.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00

Contributor

  • The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, Fourth Edition

    The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, Fourth Edition

    Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark A. Miller, and Laurel Smith-Doerr

    The fourth edition of an authoritative overview, with all new chapters that capture the state of the art in a rapidly growing field.

    Science and Technology Studies (STS) is a flourishing interdisciplinary field that examines the transformative power of science and technology to arrange and rearrange contemporary societies. The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies provides a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the field, reviewing current research and major theoretical and methodological approaches in a way that is accessible to both new and established scholars from a range of disciplines. This new edition, sponsored by the Society for Social Studies of Science, is the fourth in a series of volumes that have defined the field of STS. It features 36 chapters, each written for the fourth edition, that capture the state of the art in a rich and rapidly growing field. One especially notable development is the increasing integration of feminist, gender, and postcolonial studies into the body of STS knowledge.

    The book covers methods and participatory practices in STS research; mechanisms by which knowledge, people, and societies are coproduced; the design, construction, and use of material devices and infrastructures; the organization and governance of science; and STS and societal challenges including aging, agriculture, security, disasters, environmental justice, and climate change.

    • Hardcover $75.00 £62.00
  • Sonic Interaction Design

    Sonic Interaction Design

    Karmen Franinović and Stefania Serafin

    An overview of emerging topics, theories, methods, and practices in sonic interactive design, with a focus on the multisensory aspects of sonic experience.

    Sound is an integral part of every user experience but a neglected medium in design disciplines. Design of an artifact's sonic qualities is often limited to the shaping of functional, representational, and signaling roles of sound. The interdisciplinary field of sonic interaction design (SID) challenges these prevalent approaches by considering sound as an active medium that can enable novel sensory and social experiences through interactive technologies. This book offers an overview of the emerging SID research, discussing theories, methods, and practices, with a focus on the multisensory aspects of sonic experience.

    Sonic Interaction Design gathers contributions from scholars, artists, and designers working at the intersections of fields ranging from electronic music to cognitive science. They offer both theoretical considerations of key themes and case studies of products and systems created for such contexts as mobile music, sensorimotor learning, rehabilitation, and gaming. The goal is not only to extend the existing research and pedagogical approaches to SID but also to foster domains of practice for sound designers, architects, interaction designers, media artists, product designers, and urban planners. Taken together, the chapters provide a foundation for a still-emerging field, affording a new generation of designers a fresh perspective on interactive sound as a situated and multisensory experience.

    Contributors Federico Avanzini, Gerold Baier, Stephen Barrass, Olivier Bau, Karin Bijsterveld, Roberto Bresin, Stephen Brewster, Jeremy Coopersotck, Amalia De Gotzen, Stefano Delle Monache, Cumhur Erkut, George Essl, Karmen Franinović, Bruno L. Giordano, Antti Jylhä, Thomas Hermann, Daniel Hug, Johan Kildal, Stefan Krebs, Anatole Lecuyer, Wendy Mackay, David Merrill, Roderick Murray-Smith, Sile O'Modhrain, Pietro Polotti, Hayes Raffle, Michal Rinott, Davide Rocchesso, Antonio Rodà, Christopher Salter, Zack Settel, Stefania Serafin, Simone Spagnol, Jean Sreng, Patrick Susini, Atau Tanaka, Yon Visell, Mike Wezniewski, John Williamson

    • Hardcover $55.00 £45.00