Jay David Bolter

Jay David Bolter is Wesley Chair of New Media and Codirector of the Augmented Media Lab at Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author of Remediation: Understanding New Media (with Richard Grusin), Windows and Mirrors: Interaction Design, Digital Art and the Myth of Transparency (with Diane Gromala), both published by the MIT Press, and other books.

  • The Digital Plenitude

    The Digital Plenitude

    The Decline of Elite Culture and the Rise of New Media

    Jay David Bolter

    How the creative abundance of today's media culture was made possible by the decline of elitism in the arts and the rise of digital media.

    Media culture today encompasses a universe of forms—websites, video games, blogs, books, films, television and radio programs, magazines, and more—and a multitude of practices that include making, remixing, sharing, and critiquing. This multiplicity is so vast that it cannot be comprehended as a whole. In this book, Jay David Bolter traces the roots of our media multiverse to two developments in the second half of the twentieth century: the decline of elite art and the rise of digital media. Bolter explains that we no longer have a collective belief in “Culture with a capital C.” The hierarchies that ranked, for example, classical music as more important than pop, literary novels as more worthy than comic books, and television and movies as unserious have broken down. The art formerly known as high takes its place in the media plenitude. The elite culture of the twentieth century has left its mark on our current media landscape in the form of what Bolter calls “popular modernism.” Meanwhile, new forms of digital media have emerged and magnified these changes, offering new platforms for communication and expression.

    Bolter outlines a series of dichotomies that characterize our current media culture: catharsis and flow, the continuous rhythm of digital experience; remix (fueled by the internet's vast resources for sampling and mixing) and originality; history (not replayable) and simulation (endlessly replayable); and social media and coherent politics.

    • Hardcover $29.95 £25.00
  • Windows and Mirrors

    Windows and Mirrors

    Interaction Design, Digital Art, and the Myth of Transparency

    Jay David Bolter and Diane Gromala

    The experience of digital art and how it is relevant to information technology.

    In Windows and Mirrors: Interaction Design, Digital Art, and the Myth of Transparency, Jay David Bolter and Diane Gromala argue that, contrary to Donald Norman's famous dictum, we do not always want our computers to be invisible "information appliances." They say that a computer does not feel like a toaster or a vacuum cleaner; it feels like a medium that is now taking its place beside other media like printing, film, radio, and television. The computer as medium creates new forms and genres for artists and designers; Bolter and Gromala want to show what digital art has to offer to Web designers, education technologists, graphic artists, interface designers, HCI experts, and, for that matter, anyone interested in the cultural implications of the digital revolution.

    In the early 1990s, the World Wide Web began to shift from purely verbal representation to an experience for the user in which form and content were thoroughly integrated. Designers brought their skills and sensibilities to the Web, as well as a belief that a message was communicated through interplay of words and images. Bolter and Gromala argue that invisibility or transparency is only half the story; the goal of digital design is to establish a rhythm between transparency—made possible by mastery of techniques—and reflection—as the medium itself helps us understand our experience of it.

    The book examines recent works of digital art from the Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH 2000. These works, and their inclusion in an important computer conference, show that digital art is relevant to technologists. In fact, digital art can be considered the purest form of experimental design; the examples in this book show that design need not deliver information and then erase itself from our consciousness but can engage us in an interactive experience of form and content.

    • Hardcover $34.95 £28.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Remediation

    Remediation

    Understanding New Media

    Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin

    A new framework for considering how all media constantly borrow from and refashion other media.

    Media critics remain captivated by the modernist myth of the new: they assume that digital technologies such as the World Wide Web, virtual reality, and computer graphics must divorce themselves from earlier media for a new set of aesthetic and cultural principles. In this richly illustrated study, Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin offer a theory of mediation for our digital age that challenges this assumption. They argue that new visual media achieve their cultural significance precisely by paying homage to, rivaling, and refashioning such earlier media as perspective painting, photography, film, and television. They call this process of refashioning "remediation," and they note that earlier media have also refashioned one another: photography remediated painting, film remediated stage production and photography, and television remediated film, vaudeville, and radio.

    • Hardcover $32.50 £28.00
    • Paperback $34.95 £28.00

Contributor

  • Avant-garde Videogames

    Avant-garde Videogames

    Playing with Technoculture

    Brian Schrank

    An exploration of avant-garde games that builds upon the formal and political modes of contemporary and historical art movements.

    The avant-garde challenges or leads culture; it opens up or redefines art forms and our perception of the way the world works. In this book, Brian Schrank describes the ways that the avant-garde emerges through videogames. Just as impressionism or cubism created alternative ways of making and viewing paintings, Schrank argues, avant-garde videogames create alternate ways of making and playing games. A mainstream game channels players into a tightly closed circuit of play; an avant-garde game opens up that circuit, revealing (and reveling in) its own nature as a game.

    We can evaluate the avant-garde, Schrank argues, according to how it opens up the experience of games (formal art) or the experience of being in the world (political art). He shows that different artists use different strategies to achieve an avant-garde perspective. Some fixate on form, others on politics; some take radical positions, others more complicit ones. Schrank examines these strategies and the artists who deploy them, looking closely at four varieties of avant-garde games: radical formal, which breaks up the flow of the game so players can engage with its materiality, sensuality, and conventionality; radical political, which plays with art and politics as well as fictions and everyday life; complicit formal, which treats videogames as a resource (like any other art medium) for contemporary art; and complicit political, which uses populist methods to blend life, art, play, and reality—as in alternate reality games, which adapt Situationist strategies for a mass audience.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
  • Throughout

    Throughout

    Art and Culture Emerging with Ubiquitous Computing

    Ulrik Ekman

    Leading media scholars consider the social and cultural changes that come with the contemporary development of ubiquitous computing.

    Ubiquitous computing and our cultural life promise to become completely interwoven: technical currents feed into our screen culture of digital television, video, home computers, movies, and high-resolution advertising displays. Technology has become at once larger and smaller, mobile and ambient. In Throughout, leading writers on new media—including Jay David Bolter, Mark Hansen, N. Katherine Hayles, and Lev Manovich—take on the crucial challenges that ubiquitous and pervasive computing pose for cultural theory and criticism.

    The thirty-four contributing researchers consider the visual sense and sensations of living with a ubicomp culture; electronic sounds from the uncanny to the unremarkable; the effects of ubicomp on communication, including mobility, transmateriality, and infinite availability; general trends and concrete specificities of interaction designs; the affectivity in ubicomp experiences, including performances; context awareness; and claims on the “real” in the use of such terms as “augmented reality” and “mixed reality.”

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
  • Aesthetic Computing

    Aesthetic Computing

    Paul A. Fishwick

    In Aesthetic Computing, key scholars and practitioners from art, design, computer science, and mathematics lay the foundations for a discipline that applies the theory and practice of art to computing. Aesthetic computing explores the way art and aesthetics can play a role in different areas of computer science. One of its goals is to modify computer science by the application of the wide range of definitions and categories normally associated with making art. For example, structures in computing might be represented using the style of Gaudi or the Bauhaus school. This goes beyond the usual definition of aesthetics in computing, which most often refers to the formal, abstract qualities of such structures—a beautiful proof, or an elegant diagram. The contributors to this book discuss the broader spectrum of aesthetics—from abstract qualities of symmetry and form to ideas of creative expression and pleasure—in the context of computer science. The assumption behind aesthetic computing is that the field of computing will be enriched if it embraces all of aesthetics. Human-computer interaction will benefit—"usability," for example, could refer to improving a user's emotional state—and new models of learning will emerge.

    Aesthetic Computing approaches its subject from a variety of perspectives. After defining the field and placing it in its historical context, the book looks at art and design, mathematics and computing, and interface and interaction. Contributions range from essays on the art of visualization and "the poesy of programming" to discussions of the aesthetics of mathematics throughout history and transparency and reflectivity in interface design.

    Contributors James Alty, Olav W. Bertelsen, Jay David Bolter, Donna Cox, Stephan Diehl, Mark d'Inverno, Michele Emmer, Paul Fishwick, Monica Fleischmann, Ben Fry, Carsten Görg, Susanne Grabowski, Diane Gromala, Kenneth A. Huff, John Lee, Frederic Fol Leymarie, Michael Leyton, Jonas Löwgren, Roger F. Malina, Laurent Mignonneau, Frieder Nake, Ray Paton, Jane Prophet, Aaron Quigley, Casey Reas, Christa Sommerer, Wolfgang Strauss, Noam Tractinksy, Paul Vickers, Dror Zmiri

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
    • Paperback $19.75 £15.99