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User: InfoTechnoDemo (Mediaworks Pamphlets) Paperback – July 29, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"A stimulating example of no-nonsense reflection of what is going on in our postmodern digital culture."-Jan Baetens, Image & Narrative

" User is filled with attention-getting graphics and insightful commentary..." Inside Design

About the Author

Peter Lunenfeld is Professor of Design Media Arts at UCLA and the author of User: InfoTechnoDemo, Snap to Grid: A User's Guide to Digital Arts, Media, and Cultures, and The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine, all published by the MIT Press.


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Product Details

  • Series: Mediaworks Pamphlets
  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (July 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262621983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262621984
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 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: #2,019,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Lunenfeld is a professor in the Design Media Arts department at UCLA. Publications include: The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine, 2011, USER: InfoTechnoDemo (MIT, 2005), Snap to Grid: A User's Guide to Digital Arts, Media & Cultures (MIT, 2000), and The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media (MIT, 1999). Digital_Humanities, co-written with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp, came out in 2012 from the MIT Press.

Lunenfeld is creator and editorial director of the multi-award-winning Mediawork project, a pamphlet series for the MIT Press which redefined the relationship between serious academic discourse and graphic design, and between book publishing and the World Wide Web. These "theoretical fetish objects" cover the intersections of media, art, design and technology.

Lunenfeld is on the Faculty Steering Committee of UCLA's new undergraduate minor and graduate certificate in Digital Humanities. His current research interests are taking him deeper into questions about new modes of knowledge formation that go beyond print, the design of the digital humanities, and the centrality of meaning making to networked culture. His on-going research project is in retreat from the future present. Provisionally titled City at the Edge of Forever, it is an alternative, connectionist history of Los Angeles and its cultural significance. http://www.peterlunenfeld.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book on a whim at the Armand Hammer museum's gift shop; the bright colors on the cover and the refreshing lingo and hip visuals--which almost give it the aura of a VGA monitor--throughout the book had enticed my curiosity, and I figured that in the worst case, USER:INFOTECHNODEMO would at least make for a decent coffee table book. As it turns out, USER was a fun read, and Mieke Gerritzen's creatively designed and ever-changing fonts and graphics forced me to slow down my reading pace and to soak up Lunenfeld's speculative-but-illuminating theories.
USER is composed of fifteen essays which were originally written for the international magazine artext. In the introduction, Lunenfeld declares that he has "an obsession with doing theory and criticism in real time," and that these essays are to be approached as "utilities, not manifestoes," which synthesize digital technology, pop culture and visual design. As for the diversity of his essay topics, Lunenfeld says that readers will "have to determine for themselves if this range is symptomatic of pluralism or promiscuity." While the essays are, at times, tangential and cover a range of topics from video games, pop culture, visual design to life extension diets, at no time, however, did USER seem self indulgent.
In For Ever, Lunenfeld criticizes our desire to indefinitely extend our lives, as he mocks health zealots and other member of the "anti-death league" who believe that they can significantly increase their life spans through nutritional supplements and other such alternative options. As he points out, the only strategy that has stood up to scientific scrutiny, is extremely reduced caloric intake--an option which Lunenfeld finds unrealistic in our super-size-me society.
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