Uncanny Networks : Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia

Macgregor, George (2004) Uncanny Networks : Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia. [Review]

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    Abstract

    Recent developments in the so-called Information Society have facilitated a brand of cultural convergence that would hitherto have been imponderable. Of course, the greatest exponent of this new-found cultural convergence is the Internet; information, art, culture, science, and technology, all utilising the same vehicle for dissemination or expression. Constituting one piece of the Leonardo Series delivered by MIT press, Uncanny Networks continues a book series that attempts to holistically comprehend, analyse and provide intellectual discourse on this innovative convergence of disciplines. This concept of ‘intellectual discourse’ assumes an intriguing semblance when wielded by Lovink, who treats the reader to a collection of interviews with a diverse range of media and cultural theorists, philosophers, critics, information specialists and artists in an attempt to examine the numerous ideological, theoretical, social and political manifestations that have influenced the said cultural convergence. Thus Lovink provides the reader with perspectives on issues such as cultural imperialism, globalisation, the digital divide, and consumerism, to issues encompassing the supposed ‘virtual class’, the political economy of media, and the suspicion of post-modernity and liberal elitism. One might immediately think that such a mélange of conflicting perspectives would render a book wholly impalatable; ordinarily it might, but not in Uncanny Networks.