Archive for publications, 2014

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[ecrea] new book: Fun and Software: Exploring Pleasure, Pain and Paradox in Computing

Wed Nov 19 00:07:47 GMT 2014

I am pleased to announce that Fun and Software: Exploring Pleasure, Pain and Paradox in Computing, edited by Olga Goriunova (Bloomsbury, 2014) is out now.
About Fun and Software

Fun and Software offers the untold story of fun as constitutive of the culture and aesthetics of computing. Fun in computing is a mode of thinking, making and experiencing. It invokes and convolutes the question of rationalism and logical reason, addresses the sensibilities and experience of computation and attests to its creative drives. By exploring topics as diverse as the pleasure and pain of the programmer, geek wit, affects of play and coding as a bodily pursuit of the unique in recursive structures, Fun and Software helps construct a different point of entry to the understanding of software as culture. Fun is a form of production that touches on the foundations of formal logic and precise notation as well as rhetoric, exhibiting connections between computing and paradox, politics and aesthetics. From the formation of the discipline of programming as an outgrowth of pure mathematics to its manifestation in contemporary and contradictory forms such as gaming, data analysis and art, fun is a powerful force that continues to shape our life with software as it becomes the key mechanism of contemporary society.

Including chapters from leading scholars, programmers and artists, Fun and Software makes a major contribution to the field of software studies and opens the topic of software to some of the most pressing concerns in contemporary theory.

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“A serious materialist approach to software inevitably must confront the emotional character of programming, in all of its component parts, from the thrill of invention to obsession. It must also wrestle with entrenched notions that this craft is driven predominantly by a cool, calculated rationality. Long overdue, Fun and Software fulfills both requirements, providing an exquisite collection of delightful essays full of insight about the deep pleasures and frustrations feeding the inventive process of coding.” – Gabriella Coleman, Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, McGill University, Canada

“Fun and Software is a unique and very welcome addition to the existing work in software studies and history of computing. The book uncovers intense emotions at work throughout computing cultures, with geeks, game players, inventors of computers and other characters making appearances. The range of covered topics is impressive, and the thinking and writing in this book are superb.” – Lev Manovich, Professor of Computer Science, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA, and Director, Software Studies Lab

Table Of Contents

Introduction – Olga Goriunova, University of Warwick, UK

Technology, Logistics and Logic: Rethinking the Problem of Fun in Software - Andrew Goffey, University of Nottingham, UK

Bend Sinister: Monstrosity and Normative Effect in Computational Practice - Simon Yuill, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Always One Bit More, Computing and the Experience of Ambiguity - Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Do Algorithms Have Fun? On Completion, Indeterminacy and Autonomy in Computation - Luciana Parisi and M. Beatrice Fazi, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

useR!: Aggression, Alterity and Unbound Affects in Statistical Programming - Adrian Mackenzie, Lancaster University, UK

Do (not) Repeat Yourself - Michael Murtaugh, Piet Zwart Institute, The Netherlands

Not Just For Fun - Geoff Cox, Aarhus University, Denmark, and Alex McLean, University of Leeds, UK

Fun is a Battlefield: Software between Enjoyment and Obsession - Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Andrew Lison, Brown University, USA

Monopoly and The Logic of Sensation in Spacewar! - Christian Ulrik Andersen, Aarhus University, Denmark

Human-Computer Interaction, a Sci-Fi discipline? - Brigitte Kaltenbacher, Goldsmiths College, UK

A Fun Aesthetic and Art – Annet Dekker, Piet Zwart Institute, The Netherlands

Material Imagination: on the Avant-Gardes, Time and Computation - Olga Goriunova, University of Warwick, UK

About the Author

Olga Goriunova is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, The University of Warwick, UK. She is author of Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet (Routledge, 2012) and a co-founder of the Computational Culture journal (

Published: 28-08-2014

Edition: 1st Extent: 296

ISBN: 9781623568870

Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic Illustrations: 15 bw illus

RRP: £68.99

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