The Philosophy of Software: Code and Mediation in the Digital Age

David Berry (Swansea University)

Wednesday 13 April 2011, 6pm, On Location, National Media Museum

As software increasingly structures the contemporary world, curiously, it also withdraws, and becomes harder and harder for us to focus on as it is embedded, hidden, off-shored or merely forgotten about. The challenge is to bring software back into visibility so that we can pay attention to both what it is (ontology), where it has come from (through media archaeology and genealogy) but also what it is doing (through a form of mechanology), so we can understand this ‘dynamic of organized inorganic matter’. This talk presents some of the arguments of his new book The Philosophy of Software but also thinks through some of the implications of code/software for the changing nature of the university itself.

David Berry is interested in the methodological and theoretical challenges of studying digital media, particularly through an approach broadly conceived as cultural political economy. He also has strong research interests in the philosophical and theoretical implications of the work of Heidegger, Kittler, Arendt, Tarde, and Latour.  David’s research covers a wide theoretical area including culture, political economy, media/medium theory, software studies, actor-network theory, the philosophy of technology, and the computational turn in Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences (Digital Humanities).

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