Readings found in the class drive


Charles and Ray Eames’ 1960 short film explaining feedback (aka a perspective for understanding an aspect of cybernetic and communications theories)

Donella H. Meadows’ Dancing with Systems (2001) excerpt from the Systems reader in the Documents of Contemporary Art series edited by Edward A. Shanken, Whitechapel and MIT press, 2015. Pages 57 through 61.

Daniel Dennett’s lecture on evolutionary design.

Relational Aesthetics by Nicholas Bourriaud considers works that bring human relationships to the foreground suggesting that all art essentially does this.

Claire Bishop’s Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics criticizes Bourriaud’s utopian view by identifying works that acknowledge the hierarchies and power struggles inherent in human relationships.

Networked Publics, edited by Kazys Varnelis, MIT Press, 2008. Specifically Chapter 1 Place: The Networking of Public Space Kazys Varnelis and Anne Friedberg.

Publics and Counterpublics by Michael Warner features a passage that describes the multiplying effect of the audience’s own self awareness.

Santa Fe Institute physicist Geoffrey West talks about his book Scale on the mathematical models governing complex systems.

The idea of network effects was first proposed in Jeff Rohlfs' A Theory of Interdependent Demand for a Communications Service, Bell Journal of Economics, Spring 1974. And later by W. Brian Arthur's Positive Feedbacks in the Economy, Scientific American, February 1990.

Networks, Crowds, and Markets By David Easley and Jon Kleinberg brings together key research from Economics, Sociology, and Computer Science in this a remarkably thorough survey of network theory.

An excerpt from Émile Durkheim’s The Elements of Religious Life, an early analysis of cultural artifacts (totems) as polarizing agents that establish the sacred and the profane in a culture. * perhaps a more contemporary paper from from the “religion scientists” might be more helpful. Azim Sharriff and Ara Norenzayan are notable scholars in the field.

Economist Sherwin Rosen’s seminal The Economics of Superstars describes why few succeed big in the arts while most not at all. I especially like how he devises a formal definition of “talent”. Moshe Adler, another economist, adds significantly * to that analysis.

Impostors: Literary Hoaxes and Cultural Authenticity by Christopher Miller which examines pseudonymity and its cultural appropriations. Nom de Plume by Carmella Ciuraru only considers examples of pseudonymity where the author was forced to hide their identity out of political circumstance rather than aesthetic playfulness. *

In his own book Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor (1999), Tim Berners-Lee talks of his vision: "The vision I have for the Web is about anything being potentially connected with anything. It is a vision that provides us with new freedom, and allows us to grow faster than we ever could when we were fettered by the hierarchical classification systems into which we bound ourselves."