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Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses (Digital Formations) Paperback – June 12, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0820488370 ISBN-10: 0820488372
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Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses (Digital Formations) + Network Culture: Politics For the Information Age + The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (Electronic Mediations)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

«Inspired by the work of Paul Virilio, Friedrich Kittler, and Gilles Deleuze, this book chronicles the contemporary digital landscape through the menagerie of email worms and computer viruses that infect and define it. A self-described media archeologist, Jussi Parikka is both theoretically nuanced and technically detailed, a welcome relief coming on the heels of dotcom hysteria over digital hygiene. The result is a becoming-viral of today’s technological culture. It is essential reading for anyone infected by the digital contagion.» (Alexander R. Galloway, Assistant Professor, Department of Culture and Communication, New York University; Author of ‘Protocol and Gaming’)
«‘Digital Contagions’ is the first book to look at the computer virus as a historical and cultural phenomenon, rather than simply as a technological issue. It brilliantly recounts the history of the emergence of such viruses in the context of other epidemics, and how these different kinds of contagions are ineluctably bound together in our technologized, digital culture. The book is an essential text for helping us come to terms with the massive changes this emerging culture is bringing about.» (Charlie Gere, Reader in New Media Research, Lancaster University; Author of ‘Digital Culture’ and ‘Art, Time and Technology’)

From the Back Cover

"Inspired by the work of Paul Virilio, Friedrich Kittler, and Gilles Deleuze, this book chronicles the contemporary digital landscape through the menagerie of email worms and computer viruses that infect and define it. A self-described media archeologist, Jussi Parikka is both theoretically nuanced and technically detailed, a welcome relief coming on the heels of dotcom hysteria over digital hygiene. The result is a becoming-viral of today’s technological culture. It is essential reading for anyone infected by the digital contagion." —Alexander R. Galloway, Assistant Professor, Department of Culture and Communication, New York University; Author of Protocol and Gaming

"Digital Contagions is the first book to look at the computer virus as a historical and cultural phenomenon, rather than simply as a technological issue. It brilliantly recounts the history of the emergence of such viruses in the context of other epidemics, and how these different kinds of contagions are ineluctably bound together in our technologized, digital culture. The book is an essential text for helping us come to terms with the massive changes this emerging culture is bringing about." —Charlie Gere, Reader in New Media Research, Lancaster University; Author of Digital Culture and Art, Time and Technology

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Product Details

  • Series: Digital Formations (Book 44)
  • Paperback: 327 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820488372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820488370
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Jussi Parikka is Professor in Technological Culture & Aesthetics at the Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton). Parikka is also Docent in Digital Culture Theory at the University of Turku, Finland. He has a PhD in Cultural History (University of Turku), and teaches and writes on network culture, digital media theory and media archaeology. He blogs at Machinology: http://www.jussiparikka.net.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By twinkle on May 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
One could be forgiven for assuming that a book with the title "Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses" would be of sole interest to those sniggering hornrimmed programmers who harbor an erudite loathing of Bill Gates and an affection for the Viennese witch-doctor. Actually, it is a rather game and enthralling look, via a media-ecological approach, into the acutely frightening, yet hysterically glittering, networked world in which we now reside. A world where the distinct individual is pitted against - and thoroughly processed by - post-human semi-autonomous software programs which often ferment anomalous feelings of being eaten alive by some great indifferent artificiality that apparently functions semi-independently as a natural being.

Though no J. G. Ballard or William S. Burroughs, Jussi Parikka nevertheless sucks us into a fantastic black tour-de-force narrative of virulence and the cultural history of computer viruses (*), followed by innumerable inquisitive innuendoes concerning the ramifications for a creative and aesthetic, if post-human, future. Digital Contagions is impregnated with fear and suspicion, but we almost immediately sense that it also contains an undeniable affirmative nobility of purpose; which is to save the media cultural condition - and the brimful push of technological modernization in general - from catastrophically killing itself off.

This admirable embryonic redemption is achieved by a vaccination-like turning of tables, as Parikka convincingly demonstrates that computer viruses (semi-autonomous machinic/vampiric pieces of code) are not antithetical to contemporary digital culture, but rather essential traits of the techno-cultural logic itself.
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