selected conference papers
What is Cyberculture?: Digital Culture and Critical Information Theory (2002)
This paper was presentated at the "Critical Cyberculture Studies Conference," University of Maryland, April 26-27, 2002, as part of the Wayne State University Digital Culture Workgroup presentation.
The talk discusses the status of the term "cyberculture" as a historicist category within modernity, and the relation of critical theory to such a term. It advocates a materialist critique of such terms as "cyberculture," "the information age," and "the information society." It discusses the psychological and social affects and effects of a "textualization of sociality" in relation to recent information and communication technologies. And it suggests, through a reassertion of the Enlightenment notion of freedom as a historical event (as theorized in the 20th century in the works of Heidegger, Nancy, and Negri), similarities between current experiences of the technological sublime in regard to the Internet, and Enlightenment, premodernist, experiences of the technological sublime in regard to manufacturing production and commodities.
Link to PDF
Information and Entropy in the Cold War and Its Present: Emergent Meaning in the Art of Robert Smithson (1999)
This paper was presented at the Sociality/Materiality: The Status of the Object in Social Science Conference, September 9-11, 1999, Brunel University, UK
Abstract: This paper discusses the work of the late conceptualist artist, Robert Smithson.
Link to PDF
What is the Virtual in the Necessity of Art? (1998)
This paper was presented at the Art and Technology: In the Age of Information conference, sponsored by Keele University and the Tate Gallery, Liverpool, UK, July 3 1998. This paper begins by arguing for a materialist reading of art rooted in the status of the object in the avant-garde and in the critical work of Heidegger and Benjamin. Next, it argues against the assignment of art to a rhetorical-political notion of "the virtual" as a site or topos outside of materialist construction. And last, it extends these arguments to a critique of cybertechnology as developed within the aesthetic and technological frame of television.
Link to PDF