School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications

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    Library
    CUBITT, SEAN (Sage, 2006)
    The modern library derives from a vision of public service developed in the 19th century. At various times in the past a commercial service, an educational resource, a religious domain and a political institution, the library today exists in various forms, including all these but in addition the professional libraries held by law firms and scientific or technological associations, multimedia lending libraries and certain areas of the world-wide web.
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    TV news titles: picturing the planet
    CUBITT, SEAN ( 2006)
    The structures of globalization are insanely complex. The world's news media must at least try to make some sense of these structures visible. That is, the news must gratify the needs of an audience which requires an understanding of what causal systems are responsible for such felt effects as oil prices, currency fluctuations, and the migration of employment. Media professionals' ethics, peer pressure and pride in their craft impel them to make some effort towards educating the citizenry in the terms and conditions of participation in the global economy. And, in light of popular movements like the Live8 concerts in support of Bob Geldoff's "Make Poverty History" campaign, the news touches on the possibilities and challenges of global governance.
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    Genealogies of Digital Light, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Wednesday 29 November 2006
    CUBITT, SEAN ( 2006)
    The light of the world, casting light on dark places, enlightenment (East and West), the light that goes out of the eyes of the dying: illumination is more than physics. It is a central human metaphor. Those metaphors in turn are not only remnants of ancient paganisms and old beliefs, though they are in that respect ways in which we recall our otherwise anonymous ancestors. They are also tools that shape our thinking, that structure some of the great accounts of light from Grosseteste's De Luce (in MacKenzie 1996) to Newton's Opticks (1952), Goethe's Farbenlehre (1967) to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity andPlanck's foundational observations on the principles of quantum dynamics. And of course light is central to the techniques, technologies and discourses of the visual arts, and among them not least of photography. Light is the raw material of photography, in a purer sense than is true of any of the earlier visual arts save perhaps stained glass.
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    Digital landscape and nature-morte
    CUBITT, SEAN ( 2006)
    Susan Collins' Glenlandia (and its immediate predecessor Fenlandia) employs a webcam on location feeding a plasma screen with a resolution of 320 x 240. The pixels arrive at one per second. It takes 76,800 seconds to complete an image, 21.33 hours, just under a day. Chances are that there will be a dark area of night (though Collins reports instances of a smear of moon across a night-time sky) and inexplicable artefacts, pixels of intense and unexpected colours appearing day or night, perhaps starlight or some unwitting creature flitting across the field of view. Hovering between photograph and moving image, the slow accrual of image, the slow erasure of the previous picture, make this in some interesting ways exemplary of the capacities of digital media, in particular some aspects of referentiality, and most specifically, in the first instance, the question of the representation of time.
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    Library
    CUBITT, S (SAGE Journal, 2006)
    The modern library derives from a vision of public service developed in the 19th century. At various times in the past a commercial service, an educational resource, a religious domain and a political institution, the library today exists in various forms, including all these but in addition the professional libraries held by law firms and scientific or technological associations, multimedia lending libraries and certain areas of the world-wide web.
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    Consumer Discipline and the Work of Audiencing
    CUBITT, S ; Rutsky, RL ; Cohen, S (Berg Publishers, 2006)
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    Analogue and Digital
    CUBITT, S (SAGE Journal, 2006)
    In the brief fifty years of its history, computer arts have given rise to a number of schools. Early practitioners like Jordan Belson were interested in machinic contributions to the spiritual aspects of abstraction noted in the early 20th century by Malevich, Kandinsky and Mondrian. Certain artists insist that only engineering in software and hardware constitutes digital art, while the use of existing programmes and machines is dilettantism. Other schools have focused on interactivity, immersion or networking as constitutive factors of a distinctively digital art. And some artists (Young Hae Cheung, Vuk Cosic) renounce all high-level programming and interaction. While some commentators, especially in the 1990s, sought to distinguish the digital aesthetic from all previous aesthetic modes, increasingly scholars and critics have come round to a disputed and various but common belief in continuities between digital and previous arts.
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    The Fading of the Elves: ecology, eco-catastrophe, tehnopoly, and bio-security
    CUBITT, S ; Mathijs, E ; Pomerance, M (Rodopi, 2006)
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    Tactical Media
    CUBITT, S ; Sarikakis, K ; Thussu, D (Hampton Press, 2006)
    The world communicates. Contemporary physics and chemistry instruct us in the nature of an information universe and reveal the microdimensional infolding of space and time upon themselves in such ways that, in the fundamental laboratory demonstration of quantum effects, subatomic entities “communicate.” The trees communicate with the sun, the seas with the moon, our eyes with ancient light from dead galaxies, our skins with the cosmic background radiation. The inhabitants of this planet have evolved to receive the communications of their environment, migratory birds to sense magnetic fields, anchovies to follow the ocean currents, and humans to communicate. Among and between people, communication has taken on a special form. Like many animals, we externalize communication in acts of nest building and giving and receiving food. Unlike our cousins, we have also found complex ways of storing and retrieving communications. Storage is the origin of economics. Giving and withholding communication, or otherwise interrupting and redirecting the cosmic flow, is the basis on which we humans undertake our job of making futurity. It is also a favored way to acquire honor, divinity, a papacy, a throne, a Nobel prize, wealth, sex, notoriety, or whatever else in any period of history has become the name and icon of satisfaction. The tactic developed by the ancient priesthoods and perfected in the rise of finance capital is to become a node through which the maximum of communication passes and to secrete a tithe of that flow for personal, familial, clan, or caste monopoly.
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    Grayscale video and the shift to color
    Cubitt, S (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2006-12-01)
    As Paul Simon once sang, “Everything looks worse in black and white.” Metaphorically speaking, at least, I have to agree. When we begin the process of working through a significant artistic change like the movement from grayscale to color in artists’ video works, there is an overambitious temptation to speak in terms of the relations among technology, art practice, institutional policies, and critical discourse for a period of more than a decade. There, in black and white, is the problem. There is simply too much data We also believe that the significant change was the move from analogue to digital video cameras and editing. But as Marshall McLuhan skips over the shift from volumen to codex in the rush to printing, so media-art historians risk missing an essential step in the race to computer generated imaging. The solution in black and white: monochrome, and the arrival of color.