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Communication

2018
Authors:

Paula Bialski, Finn Brunton, and Mercedes Bunz

Communication

On contemporary communication in its various human and nonhuman forms

Today, communication unfolds merely between two or more conscious entities but often includes an invisible third party. Inspired by this drastic shift, this volume uncovers new meanings of what it means “to communicate.”

Contemporary communication puts us not only in conversation with one another but also with our machinery. Machine communication—to communicate not just via but also with machines—is therefore the focus of this volume. Diving into digital communications history, Finn Brunton brings to the fore the alienness of computational communication by looking at network timekeeping, automated trolling, and early attempts at communication with extraterrestrial life. Picking up this fascination with inhuman communication, Mercedes Bunz then performs a close reading of interaction design and interfaces to show how technology addresses humans (as very young children). Finally, Paula Bialski shares her findings from a field study of software development, analyzing the communicative forms that occur when code is written by separate people. Today, communication unfolds merely between two or more conscious entities but often includes an invisible third party. Inspired by this drastic shift, this volume uncovers new meanings of what it means “to communicate.”

Communication

Finn Brunton is assistant professor of media, culture, and communication at New York University. He works on the history and theory of computing and digital media technologies. He is the author of Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet, Obfuscation: A User's Guide for Privacy and Protest (with Helen Nissenbaum), and Digital Cash: A Cultural History.

Mercedes Bunz is senior lecturer at the Communication and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster. Her last book, written with Graham Meikle, is The Internet of Things.

Paula Bialski is junior professor of digital sociality at Leuphana University Lüneburg. She is an ethnographer of new media in everyday life and the author of Becoming Intimately Mobile.

About This Book