material cyberculture

[abstract:] This essay offers a polemical exploration of spatiality in new media culture, one based on a materialist, as opposed to a ‘ virtualist’ paradigm. Its goal is to intervene in the thought processes of liberal-phenomenological cybertheory. The latter tends to see computer users as consumers, rather than producers, within national and global economies. Because of this leisure-consumption orien tation, theories of new media are easily appropriated within ideologies of postindustrial capitalism. This has led to some oversimplified models of spatiality in cybertheory, many of which proceed from the premise that the material world is fast disappearing under the pressures and seductions of the virtual. The article uses methods of visual anthropology to communicate the problems with such as sumptions, and to demonstrate the benefits of materialist analysis. It traces the techniques information and knowledge workers use in fashioning decorative office media displays, known in cyber jargon as ‘geekospheres’. These techniques situate the computer within the labor process, not only as a tool but also as a physical object through which people make statements about work and find ways to define and transgress boundaries between the personal and the institutional, between work and leisure.

MCCARTHY, ANNA. 2002. Cyberculture or material culture? Computers and the social space of work. Ethnofoor 15(1/2): 47-63.
  • moreZ Saturday, 31st March 2012 at 00:19

    It’s night, the dogs are barking and while having my good night cigarette before going to bed i am browsing quite randomly through some of my favourite pages “im Internet”. Suddenly i stop here as this is piquing my curiosity. So much it reminds me to my thesis i finished almost 2 years ago, and I wonder why i havent found that earlier. With my little lasting motivation for some “activity” i try to get that promising piece of text. (Honestly it has passed some time since i read a so called “scientific article”) I hardly can remember all these techniques of scientific research, but finally i made my path through jstor to the login page where i am once more distressed how this internet knows my location. It is seriously asking me: “Are you in Palestinian Territory, Occupied?”
    However, knowing that I still have my account at the “Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München”, I click on “University of Munich Login” and follow the login procedure. Strike! Password worked at the first time.
    But then, disappointment: “We’re Sorry. It appears that your institution does not allow you off–campus access due to your status.”
    ARGHH! That proxy thingy. No, I am Sorry. It is too late. I give up – for today! Well let’s leave a comment.
    Finally after having some “virtual” activity i am content to go to bed.


    • zephyrin_xirdal Sunday, 1st April 2012 at 13:08

      lol … nice of you dropping by :) It’s quite obvious that you’re in the cyberpunk mood. Just tell me what your email-inbox can take.

      • moreZ Tuesday, 10th April 2012 at 08:10

        You asked about quantity or quality :P No seriously what you want to send me? Attachement limit per mail should be 20MB.
        The bottleneck i more see in that connection from my inbox server to my local computer. Physically it is a loose hanging cable in a symbiotic relation to my marquise. (Well that’s the reason, I still have no shadow on the balcony, cause i am afraid I will plug me off the web wide world.) Virtually you should imagine it as a venturous mountain path rather than a fast german “autobahn”. However, to end the story above, i finally didnt manage to get access ^^

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