Julian Bleecker on Tue, 4 Mar 2008 00:05:52 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> Convergence CfP: Extended Deadline

This call invites submissions for a special issue related to and about  
digital cultures of California. Internationally, California is a  
phenomenon in terms of its relationship to creating, consuming and  
reflecting upon the era of digital technologies. From the legendary  
garage entrepreneurs, to the multi-billion dollar culture of venture  
capital, to stock back-dating scandals, to the epic exodus of  
California’s IT teams during the Burning Man festival, this state  
plays an important role in the cultures of digital technologies.


All research articles are refereed and should be between 7000 — 10000  
words in length.

We also welcome submission of debates (1500 - 3000 words) or Feature  
Reports (3000 - 4000 words)

The Bay Area of California (often referred to somewhat incorrectly as  
Northern California) is often perceived as a hot-bed of technology  
activity. Silicon Valley serves as a marker for the massive funding of  
enterprises that shape many aspects of digital culture. The new  
interaction rituals that have come to define what social life has  
become in many parts of the world can often be traced back to this  
part of the state. New forms of presence awareness and digital  
communication such as Twitter and Flickr have found a comfortable home  
in the Bay Area.  Complimenting the Bay Area’s activities in “social  
software” is Southern California — Los Angeles in particular — where  
Hollywood sensibilities bring together entertainment with technology  
through such things as video games and 3D cinema.

California is also the home of several colleges and universities where  
digital technologies are developed in engineering departments and  
reflected upon from social science and humanities departments. This  
curious relationship between production and analysis creates the  
promise of insightful interdisciplinary approaches to making culture.  
Many institutions have made efforts to combine engineering and social  
science practices to bolster technology design. Xerox PARC probably  
stands as the canonical example of interdisciplinary approaches to  
digital technology design. Similarly, combining arts practices with  
technology as a kind of exploratory research and development has  
important precedent at places like PARC and at the practice-based  
events such as the San Jose California-based Zero One festival and  

In this special issue we welcome submissions which investigate,  
provoke and explicate the California digital cultures from a variety  
of perspectives. We are interested in papers that approach this  
phenomenon in scholarly and practice-based ways.

* What are the ways that social networks have been shaped by digital  

* How has the phenomenon of the digital entrepreneur evolved in the  
age of DIY sensibilities?

* What are the ways that “new ideas” succeed or fail based on their  
dissemination amongst the elite, connected digerati, as opposed to  
their dissemination amongst less more quotidian communities?

* What is the nature of the matrix of relationships between Hollywood  
entertainment, the military and digital technology?

* Can the DIY culture explored in the pages of Make magazine produce  
its own markets?

* How does the Apple Inc. culture of product design and development  
shape and inform popular culture?

* How have the various interdisciplinary approaches undertaken at  
corporate research centers connected to universities such as Intel  
Berkeley Labs shaped digital cultures?

Contact for further information: Julian Bleecker (julian@nearfuturelaboratory.com 

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