The Politics of Information

Edited by Marc Bousquet and Katherine Wills

Contributors include Charles Bernstein, Bennett Voyles, DeeDee Halleck, Fran Ilich, Bruce Simon, Mark Amerika, Katherine Wills, David Golumbia, Tiziana Terranova, Nick Dyer-Witheford, John Monberg, Matt Kirschenbaum, Donna Haraway, Lisa Nakamura, Mark Poster, Kembrew McLeod, Caren Irr, Tara McPherson, Anne-Marie Schleiner, Paul Collins, Harvey Molloy, Marc Bousquet, Ken Saltman, Timothy W. Luke, Stephanie Tripp, Katie King, Laura L. Sullivan, Susan Schreibman, Chris Carter, Gregory Ulmer, and Victor Vitanza.

"The Politics of Information" is an essay collection in five parts covering a broad panoply of discourses, practices, and institutional change that can be garnered under the rubric of "materialist informatics." The editors, Marc Bousquet and Katherine Wills, have brought together a strong and authoritative collection of essays in the context of this synthesizing, yet at the same time diversifying concept. Recalling that Donna Haraway's cyborg was never meant to be a wired, blissed-out bunny, Bousquet and Wills recover the political dimension in socialist-feminist thought. "The Politics of Information" brings class back into cultural studies, considers the Web as crucial to the expanding "informatics of domination," and recovers the cyborg as a key figure for an entire world of labor and lifeways. The authors in this wide-ranging collection, most of them pioneers in the development of Internet content, address the concerns not only of designers and users, but of everyone in the service and homework economy: janitors, perma-temps, motherboard assemblers, and all who provide the feminized labors of reproduction that include child care, health care, and a deeply instrumentalized education.

Unconstrained by the hidden assumptions of print publication, where discursive weight is too often held in check by the literal weight of a fixed edition, this critical e-book is unapologetic in its length, its scope, and its degree of engagement. Essays appear in combination with interviews; critical discourse alternates with story-telling; conceptual writing plays off first person reports from the field. Through massiveness and a direct encounter with materials in multiple media, this volume is literally unbound in energy and offers both incisive insights into the technocapitalist condition even as it achieves a Web credibility unusual in scholarly writing. The ebook's orientation is given by Bousquet's five section introductions, and the publication's technical bookmark feature allows readers to navigate through this enormous body of text with the simple click of a mouse. About "The Politics of Information":

"A wonderful addition to the ALT-X catalogue. Indeed, it is a worthy volume to be considered as the first critical book in the ALT-X.ebr ebook series. If there is such a thing as the 'right' volume for such an honour, it should be a book that addresses the informatic turn in culture."

Darren Tofts, author of Memory Trade: A Prehistory of Cyberculture and editor of "Prefiguring Cyberculture: An Intellectual History" (MIT Press, 2003)

"The thought of what America would be like, if academic cultural criticism found its activist edge and a worldwide distribution, disturbs my sleep."

Joseph Tabbi, series editor, Alt-X/ebr critical e-books; author of Cognitive Fictions (Minnesota, 2002)

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