Category: Texts

Giffed Economy

For the Born in 1987 show at The Photographers Gallery, London, curated by Katrina Sluis Why look at animated GIFs now? They are one of the first forms of image native to computer networks making them charmingly passé, a characteristic that gives them contradictory longevity. Animated GIFs crystallise a form of the combination of computing [...]

Questions to Ask a City

From, Cybermoholla Ensemble & Nicholas Hirsch / Michael Müller, eds, ‘Cybermoholla Hub’, Sternberg Press, NYC, 2012 10 How do things enter and leave, how are they built and how do they decay? What is modifiable? How can things be attached on to one another? Where does idea become infrastructure? What arranges speeds? How does the [...]

Personal Web Searching in the age of smantic capitalism: diagnosing the mechanisms of personalisation

Martin Feuz, Matthew Fuller & Felix Stalder First published at First Monday: Abstract Web search engines have become indispensable tools for finding information online effectively. As the range of information, context and users of Internet searches has grown, the relationship between the search query, search interest and user has become more tenuous. Not all [...]

Foreword (to Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Programmed Visions)

Foreword to Wendy Chun’s excellent, Programmed Visions, Software studies aims to find ways of expanding and intensifying reflection on software and computational culture in general. The problems it works on are rather unavoidable since software and the underlying ideas and techniques that it embodies is a crucial, if underacknowledged, element of everyday life. Few [...]

Office Work

(from Elephant & Castle) Published in Datacide 11, I’m doing form correlation, looking at shifting grids of dots on screen that resolve as alphanumerics, assessing the facts about the in-filler with those in other memory sources. Much of the data fits, but as if filtered through a third party recall, too much that fits [...]

Networking Overload, with Potplants

For Thresholds 38 Edited by Orkan Telhan MIT School of Architecture & Planning “Natural fuse” is a micro scale carbon dioxide overload protection framework that works locally & globally, harnessing the carbon-sinking capabilities of plants. Generating electricity to power the electronic products that populate our lives has consequences on the amount of carbon dioxide [...]

Thinking in the Middle of Things

0 In her many-sided theorization of the history of programmability, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun proposes a way of working and reflecting on technology that she calls working in media res – in the middle of things.1 Software cultures, according to Chun are best known through involvement, indeed nowadays, they can hardly be known from the [...]

On the Usefulness of Anxiety, two Evil Media Stratagems

Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey Written for the “Sarai Reader: Fear”, The following sections of text are stratagems selected from an ongoing work-in-progress that aims to capture the changing nature of power in contemporary media, especially in its increasingly technosocial aspects and to distill them into a series of useful ploys or tactics. Drawing [...]


The Cat Seemed to Think There was Enough of it Now in Sight

The Cat Seemed to Think There was Enough of it Now in Sight The interplay of disappearance and the coming into sight of the occluded or unknown against the regime of the all too visible provides one of the hidden patternings of history. This motif, of finding moments, apertures, screens by which things resolve into [...]

The Telephone and its Keys

Matthew Fuller The Social Telephony Files presents insights into a range of projects generated over a series of years by numerous people, using various software, and in many different kinds of contexts. The work presented here provides an overview of these projects and the way that, even in the face of rapid innovation by different [...]

Think Twice

“Thinking is like breathing you do it unreflexively or not at all. And if you happen to want to do it reflexively, or with full awareness, it becomes a full project of its own.” Rosi Braidotti Taking breathing seriously can be as simple as Marcel Duchamp’s fine sentiment that “I like breathing – better than [...]

Active Data and its Afterlives

Catalogue text for Take Away Media Festival 2009

Art Methodologies in Media Ecology

Art is no longer only art. Its methods are recapitulated, ooze out and become feral in combination with other forms of life. Art methodologies convey art’s capacities to enact a live process in the world, launching sensorial particles and other conjunctions in ways and combinations that renew their powers of disturbance and vision. Art methodologies [...]

Acts of Letting and of Creation

In the years 1649 and 1650, a number of land occupations were made in England. Groups of political dissenters popularly called “Diggers” organised together to farm underused land. This period, after the decapitation of King Charles and before the Commonwealth collapsed into dictatorship, witnessed a great flowering of enthusiasm and experimentation. The Diggers saw three [...]

Urban Versioning System v1.0

Written with Usman Haque ( Commissioned for the Architectural League of New York Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series ( Published 2008 Also available as a pdf with illustrations by David Cuesta, Table of Contents Preamble Seven Constraints Discussion of the Seven Constraints 1. Build rather than design 2. Materials must come pre-broken 3. Make joints 4. [...]

Crime and the Culture Industry

One of the favourite subjects of the film industry is itself, but its even more favoured subject is crime. Crime is the hero and the villain of thousands of films: its dramatic plot, its tragic end and thrilling faultline. Breaking social, moral and economic taboos keeps filmgoers on the edges of their seats and makes [...]


Softness: interrogability; general intellect; art methodologies in software

This text was originally given as a talk at the ISEA (International Symposium on Electronic Art) in Helsinki in 2004. A version was published by the Digital Research Unit at Huddersfield University in 2006. Here is a pdf version of this text. (With thanks to Søren Pold)

Art for Animals

Second expanded version “If art is genuine it is creative revolution regardless of who looks at it”1

Towards an Evil Media Studies

(for The Spam Book, Jussi Parikka and Tony Sampson eds., forthcoming, Hampton Press, New Jersey) Matthew Fuller, Andrew Goffey Evil media studies is not a discipline, nor is it the description of a category of particularly unpleasant media objects. It is a manner of working with a set of informal practices and bodies of knowledge, [...]

Towards an Ecology of Media Ecology

Should any society that can’t deal with the waste it produces be allowed, allow itself, to produce anything new? Why should we be celebrating the creative use of computers, electronics, media systems, when they are simply plastic wrapped condensations of heavy metals and other poisons? Can we imagine a technology that is able to disentangle [...]

The Computation of Space

1 ‘Technological progress’ has generated many new materials, and incorporated computation into many levels of their fabrication. This has established the possibility to create a new diversity of spatial forms and to begin to identify experimental methods of construction that weave the foundational abstraction of computation into their fabric. Once the joints are in place [...]

Endless, multilayered, super-fast and infinitely complex boredom: hooray

What makes software jump? What words, what styles of thought do we need to understand running code and the multi-layered compositions it is part of, and how, if at all, does software establish relations with what might termed freedom? Such questions, of how to act in and understand complex technologies and live situations are not [...]


1. To call this panel conceptualism is to makes quite a strong claim about the nature of the work. It situates it in relation to a legitimate, recognisable and interesting kind of art practice, one that is certainly also profoundly historified enough to be undergoing a process of revisionism. But it also locates the work [...]

Freaks of number

There is very intriguing book from 1893, with a second edition in 1905. Maurice d’Ocagne, a Professor at the l’Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées’s ‘Le Calcul Simplifié par les Procédés Mecaniques et graphiques’’1 subtitled ‘a history and description of instruments and machines of calculation, tables, abacuses and nomograms.’ Much of the book is exactly that: [...]


Commonality, pixel property, seduction: As If…

Is talent important in net art? This group of works gives us the answer. Let us remember that the name Talent was that of an ancient coin. What is a coin but a condensed power to take something out. The possibility to move a thing, an action, a power, from one state into another, to [...]

I Am The Mayor Of London

I spread plans out on the giant glass table. Turn Brixton into Brighton – dig out a channel through Kent, Sussex and let the sea roll in up to Streatham Hill. More geostrategic entertainment zones. 10 000 hole crazy golf course as workfare replaces Dagenham. 200 yards away from the Tower of London which is [...]