Face/On: An Interview

Sharrona Pearl’s new book is an absolute pleasure to read. Face/On: Face Transplants and the Ethics of the Other (The University of Chicago Press, 2017) looks closely at facial allotransplantations, commonly known as face transplants, in order to offer a careful and fascinating study of the stakes for changing the face, and the changing stakes for the face. Troubling the indexical relationship between the face and … Continue reading Face/On: An Interview

The Undersea Network: An Interview

Nicole Starosielski’s new book brings an environmental and ecological consciousness to the study of digital media and digital systems, and it is a must-read. The Undersea Network (Duke University Press, 2015) looks carefully and imaginatively at the geography of undersea cable networks, paying special attention to the materiality of network infrastructure and its relationships with the histories of the Pacific. The book revises what we think we know … Continue reading The Undersea Network: An Interview

Beautiful Data: An Interview

The second half of the twentieth century saw a radical transformation in approaches to recording and displaying information. Orit Halpern’s new book traces the emergence of the “communicative objectivity” that resulted from this shift and produced new forms of observation, rationality, and economy. Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945 (Duke University Press, 2014) beautifully accomplishes this by creating a dialogue between fields that don’t … Continue reading Beautiful Data: An Interview

Forensic Media: An Interview

Greg Siegel’s new book is a wonderfully engaging and meticulously researched account of a dual tendency in modern technological life: treating forensic knowledge of accident causation as a key to solving the accident, and treating this knowledge as the source for the future improvement of both technology and civilization. Forensic Media: Reconstructing Accidents in Accelerated Modernity (Duke University Press, 2014) argues that accidents, forensics, and media have been … Continue reading Forensic Media: An Interview

Graphesis: An Interview

Johanna Drucker’s marvelous new book gives us a language with which to talk about visual epistemology. Graphesis introduces the nature and function of information graphics, awakens readers to the visual interfaces prevalent in our daily work, and considers how paying careful attention to visual interpretation can serve a broader humanistic agenda. We had a chance to talk about it for the New Books Network Seminar, and you … Continue reading Graphesis: An Interview

Paper Knowledge: An Interview

Lisa Gitelman’s new book introduces readers to a way of thinking about documents as tools for creating bodily experience, and as material objects situated within hierarchies and relationships of labor. Working beautifully at the intersection of media studies and history, it curates a thoughtful and inspiring collection of moments from the expansion of a modern “scriptural economy.” You can listen to us talk about hit here. Continue reading Paper Knowledge: An Interview