Working notes from the Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism

Tag Archives: cultural technique

History of an image scraper

“Shinn’s motel room contained 26 stolen books and a file full of inventory cards for another 154 volumes. He was well-educated in book history, restoration and binding, and the tools of his trade filled the room: color-stained cloths and Q-tips with jars of shoe polish, used to color-match and conceal library markings on book spines. […]

From gun to nerve

In Of frogs and men: the origins of psychophysiological time experiments, 1850–1865, Henning Schmidgen retraces the history of Helmholtz’s experiments on the propagation of stimuli within nerves. The first apparatus designed by Helmholtz repurposes a mechanism of the physicist Claude Pouillet in the field of ballistic, to measure the velocity of a bullet at different […]

Don’t write down father

Eleanor Rosch and Carolyn B. Mervis, Family Resemblances: Studies in the Internal Structure of Categories, 1975.

Database populism

Although early users of database technology were predominantly large institutions, the database was also a key technology in the populist vision of personal computing generated by microcomputer fans, researchers, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs in the 1970s and 1980s. Informed by science fiction sensitive to the authoritarian use of database technology, these personal computing advocates hoped that […]

Machines to write with the hereafter

Machine à écrire avec l’au-delà, Jean Perdrizet, 1971. Oui-Ja électrique, Jean Perdrizet, 1971. Perdrizet drew the designs for several devices meant to communicate with the beyond. Ghosts and the dead would trigger electrical signals translated in the letters of the alphabet by Perdrizet’s inventions. As Perdrizet didn’t believe ghosts would speak a human language, he […]

all sieves are shadows of the substances they sort

[…] we apperceive through our sieves as much as we sieve through our apperception. We appersieve, if you will. Or, if you go back to Kant ([1781] 1965), who defined the ego as the transcendental unity of apperception (whatever that means), we are our sieves. Indeed, crucially, sieves have to take on (and not just […]

The importance of punctuation

The typesetters at Sytin’s print-works in Moscow struck on September 19. They demanded a shorter working day and a higher piecework rate per 1,000 letters set, not excluding punctuation marks. This small event set off nothing more nor less than the all-Russian political strike – the strike which started over punctuation marks and ended by […]

this third eye extracted from the abdomen

‘I feel a very sincere admiration for all those people who march around Spain and Italy laden with bags, cases, telemeters, extra lenses, pose—meters, thermocolorimeters (“for taking the temperature of colour”) and who, never losing the smallest clasp from their bags, or the tiniest roll of film, advance with great strides into the ‘Leican era’. […]

Building a social detector, Mass Observation

FOREWORD By Professor Julian Huxley Science in its progress is advancing nearer to the human heart of things, The first great advances in the scientific renaissance were made in the remoter and simpler fields of astronomy and physics. Then followed chemistry and a little later general biology and physiology. The great revolution in regard to […]

a close listening to the technical workings of computers and their networks

In Algorhythmics: Understanding Micro-Temporality in Computational Cultures, Shintaro Miyazaki discusses the importance of rhythm to understand the performances of algorithms. “According to Burton [chief engineer of the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine-Resurrection-Project], the position of the so-called “noise probe” was variable, thus different sound sources could be heard and auscultated. These could be individual flip-flops in […]