August 27, 2008

Digitizing Race in 1K

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:43 pm

Digitizing RaceDigitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet
By Lisa Nakamura
University of Minnesota Press
ix, 248 pp.

There’s solid discussion of movies, a J. Lo video, and magazine pages – what really impresses is the exploration of less mainstream user-created digital images: AIM buddy icons of veiled cartoon bodies presented in a few animated pixels, the All Look Same CJK quiz site, and signature images used on pregnancy-related sites. Uncovering these overlooked artifacts helps to show how the body (racial, gendered, sexually oriented, and sometimes pregnant) is manifesting itself throughout cyberspace, being shaped, presented, and questioned by those often dismissed as mere “consumers.” The application of visual studies to the digital realm is deft; even though we don’t get the details of the emergence and technology of, say, GIF89a, digital materiality is treated well. Narkamura critiques existing surveys of Internet use by different racial groups as missing subtleties and overlooking how “users” produce and well as consume new media, errors she didn’t make in this eye-opening book.

August 26, 2008

From 0 to 1 in 1K

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 6:33 am

From 0 to 1From 0 to 1: An Authoritative History of Modern Computing
Edited by Atsushi Akera and Frederik Nebeker
Oxford University Press
xi, 228 p.

The fifteen short essays barely cover the basics, sometimes repeat information, and focus doggedly on industry, not creative or personal use. Yet this is a valuable, interesting collection. The essays identify forces and lineages in computing history, rather than just laying out the bare chronicle. Information technologies before electronic computing are discussed, although the first part of Campell-Kelly and Asprey’s Computer: A History of the Information Machine is better overall on that topic. Also, the authors manage, in their compressed writings, to dip into delightful details: how Vannevar Bush’s invention of the torque amplifier allowed for analog integration to be done via a disk-wheel; why William S. Burroughs’s “crank-activated adder” was a success; the story of ADR’s AUTOFLOW, the first software product, which produced largely useless but obligatory flowcharts. There are some notable omissions, such as the notebook computer, along with great “further reading” lists and appendices on sources.

August 24, 2008


Baskin Engineering

Welcome to the new home of Grand Text Auto! There are still a few lingering DNS problems, but if you’ve made it to this page you’re now seeing us at the Jack Baskin School of Engineering of UC Santa Cruz. Both Michael and Noah are now faculty in the Baskin School’s department of Computer Science — which hosts the UC system’s first computer game degree. We’ll be updating the template and doing some further changes soon.

August 19, 2008

Digital Media & Learning Competition 2008

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 2:13 pm

The deadline is October 15, 2008 for the second HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition, which has participatory learning as its theme. Apply for big bucks – or, if you’re an upstart but don’t have a gigantic digital learning project to fund, apply for smaller but quite helpful bucks:

Innovation in Participatory Learning Awards support large-scale digital learning projects

Young Innovator Awards are targeted at 18-25 year olds

Check the site for all the details.

August 18, 2008

Slide Scroller

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 9:02 pm

Detail from Honorarium with lecturer and screenIan Bogost’s game Honorarium is now available on EA’s Sims Carnival (direct link to the game). In it, you pick up puzzle pieces and match them to give a lecture or to answer the occasional question of an urchin-like character – presumably a student, who emits a heart after a correct answer to express either enlightenment or having on a crush on you. If you do well, you get invitations to go elsewhere and give lectures with famous landmarks visible out of the window of otherwise identical classrooms. I have not gotten to the level where you get to be on The Colbert Report.

August 6, 2008

the annual jobs post 2008-2009

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:47 pm

Like holiday decorations in your favorite retail outlet, faculty positions are being announced earlier and earlier every year!! Looking back on 2007’s post by Noah on available spots in the digital arts and humanities, game studies, and other positions related to those who might read (and post on) this blog, and seeing what a valuable asset to the community such postings are, I thought I’d start a “2008-2009” academic application year by beginning with an opening at Dartmouth College in Music.

Digit Art and Scholarship in Residence

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 6:32 am

It’s good to see expanding and continuing opportunities for residencies in digital media – for both scholars and artists.

At Cornell, there’s a chance for six to eight people to earn Society for the Humanities Fellowships to study “Networks/Mobilities” – relating to the theme of the recent HASTAC II conference in Irvine and Los Angeles. Those selected will work with two senior scholars in residence. In Fall 2009, this person will be Keller Easterling, Associate Professor of Architecture, Yale University. The Spring 2009 scholar will be Brian Massumi, Professor of Communications, University of Montreal. Application procedures, requirements, and terms. The hard deadline for receipt of all application materials is 1 October 2008.

August 5, 2008

Shadows Phone Home

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 9:30 pm

'The strange, strange shape is the shadow of a something' - image from Shadows Never SleepAya Karpinska has just published a piece for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Shadows Never Sleep. You can get it for free from the iTunes App Store – just search for it by title. Aya writes:

the piece uses a combinatory structure and the rhetoric of children’s literature to tell the story of a restless shadow on a nighttime adventure. I describe it as a “zoom narrative” which takes advantage of the multi-touch interface of the iPhone and iPod Touch to allow readers to swipe their fingers across the screen and zoom in and out of images instead of turning pages.

August 1, 2008

Foundations of Digital Games Getting Ready to Ship

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 6:55 am

FDG 2009 Logo FDG ’09, the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games is a focal point for academic efforts in all areas of research involving computer and console games, game technologies, game play and game design. Previously known as the Conference on Game Development and Computer Science Education (GDCSE), this year’s conference broadens its scope to cover the breadth of game research and education. The conference is targeted at researchers making contributions that promote new game capabilities, designs, applications and modes of play.

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