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Nevertheless I also maintain that Marx and Freud still allow us the ability to do two important things: 1 provide an account of the so-called depth model of interpretation; 2 provide an account of how and why something appears in the form of its opposite.

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The door-window model, handed down from McLuhan, can only ever reveal one thing, that the interface is a palimpsest. Michael Hardt and Negri, and other have show also how the rhizome has been adopted as a structuring diagram for systems of hegemonic power.

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While I follow this logic, it seems to collapse under the re-assertion of white nationalism as a dominant force in global politics; race does matter in every conceivable sense. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up.


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Galloway The b2 Review, Bradley J Fest. Rhizomatic and flexible, distributed networks historically emerged as an alternative to hierarchical, rigid, centralized and decentralized networks. While control used to be a law of society, now it is more like a law of nature. Because of this, resisting control has become very challenging indeed. The Interface Effect challenges thinking about mimesis that would place computers at the end of a line of increasingly complex modes of representation, a line extending from Plato, through Erich Auerbach, Marshall McLuhan, and Friedrich Kittler, and terminating in Richard Grusin, Jay David Bolter, and many others.

Rather than continue to understand digital media in terms of remediation and representation, Galloway emphasizes the processes of computational media, suggesting that the inability to productively represent control societies stems from misunderstandings about how to critically analyze and engage with the basic materiality of computers. Contra Manovich, Galloway stresses that digital media are not objects but actions.

Though Galloway does more in Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture to fully develop a way of analyzing computational media that privileges action over representation, The Interface Effect theoretically grounds this important distinction between mimesis and action, description and process. Galloway demonstrates, in contrast to such thinkers as Kittler, that there is an old line of thinking about mediation that can be traced very far back and that is not dependent on thinking about media as exclusively tied to nineteenth and twentieth century communications technology: Doubtless certain Greek philosophers had negative views regarding hypomnesis.

The Interface Effect — NYU Scholars

Yet Kittler is reckless to suggest that the Greeks had no theory of mediation. The Greeks indubitably had an intimate understanding of the physicality of transmission and message sending Hermes. They differentiated between mediation as immanence and mediation as expression Iris versus Hermes.

They understood the mediation of poetry via the Muses and their techne. There are a variety of positive implications for the study of media understood as modes of mediation, as a study of interface effects. This produces.

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The Interface Effect firmly ties the cultural to the social, economic, historical, and political, finding in a variety of locations ways that interfaces function as allegories of control. In short, The Interface Effect continually demonstrates the potent critical tools approaching mediation as allegory can provide, reaffirming the importance of a Jamesonian approach to cultural production in the digital age.

Algorithms and other logical structures are uniquely, and perhaps not surprisingly, monolithic in their historical development. There is one game in town: a positivistic dominant of reductive, systemic efficiency and expediency. In other words, media interfaces are either clear or complicated, either beautiful or deceptive, either already known or endlessly interpretable.

Review: The Interface Effect by Alexander Galloway

Recognizing the limits of either path, Galloway charts an alternative course by considering the interface as an autonomous zone of aesthetic activity, guided by its own logic and its own ends: the interface effect. Rather than praising user-friendly interfaces that work well, or castigating those that work poorly, this book considers the unworkable nature of all interfaces, from windows and doors to screens and keyboards. Considered allegorically, such thresholds do not so much tell the story of their own operations but beckon outward into the realm of social and political life, and in so doing ask a question to which the political interpretation of interfaces is the only coherent answer.

The Interface Effect.