2 minutes reading time (374 words)

Altered state: new book on the changing interrelationship between the citizen, finance, and art

Altered state: new book on the changing interrelationship between the citizen, finance, and art

A new book by some of our favourite digital arts folks has been released, through a two-year collaboration between Furtherfield, the Institute of Network Cultures, and others.

Entitled State Machines, the book is a delectable 260 pages on topics such as AI, anonymity, biotech, Blockchain, and the corpus of the multinational corporation. Authors include James Bridle, Max Dovey, Marc Garrett, Lynn Hershmann Leeson, Max Haiven, and many more:

Today, we live in a world where every time we turn on our smartphones, we are inextricably tied by data, laws and flowing bytes to different countries. A world in which personal expressions are framed and mediated by digital platforms, and where new kinds of currencies, financial exchange and even labor bypass corporations and governments. Simultaneously, the same technologies increase governmental powers of surveillance, allow corporations to extract ever more complex working arrangements and do little to slow the construction of actual walls along actual borders. On the one hand, the agency of individuals and groups is starting to approach that of nation states; on the other, our mobility and hard-won rights are under threat. What tools do we need to understand this world, and how can art assist in envisioning and enacting other possible futures?

This publication investigates the new relationships between states, citizens and the stateless made possible by emerging technologies. It is the result of a two-year EU-funded collaboration between Aksioma (SI), Drugo More (HR), Furtherfield (UK), Institute of Network Cultures (NL), NeMe (CY), and a diverse range of artists, curators, theorists and audiences. State Machines insists on the need for new forms of expression and new artistic practices to address the most urgent questions of our time, and seeks to educate and empower the digital subjects of today to become active, engaged, and effective digital citizens of tomorrow.

The book is free to both read electronically and to order, from its website. Given its heavyweight list of authors and artists, the fact that it’s free makes it... well, a bargain really. We would usually shy away from a platitude such as “must-read” but in this case, it’s probably true.

Further information is available on the Institute of Network Cultures website. Thanks, once again, to the European Union for helping to fund it.

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