From Energy to Information : Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature

From Energy to Information : Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature


This book offers an innovative examination of the interactions of science and technology, art, and literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Scholars in the history of art, literature, architecture, computer science, and media studies focus on five historical themes in the transition from energy to information: thermodynamics, electromagnetism, inscription, information theory, and virtuality. Different disciplines are grouped around specific moments in the history of science and technology in order to sample the modes of representation invented or adapted by each field in response to newly developed scientific concepts and models. By placing literary fictions and the plastic arts in relation to the transition from the era of energy to the information age, this collection of essays discovers unexpected resonances among concepts and materials not previously brought into juxtaposition. In particular, it demonstrates the crucial centrality of the theme of energy in modernist discourse. Overall, the volume develops the scientific and technological side of the shift from modernism to postmodernism in terms of the conceptual crossover from energy to information. The contributors are Christoph Asendorf, Ian F. A. Bell, Robert Brain, Bruce Clarke, Charlotte Douglas, N. Katherine Hayes, Linda Dalrymple Henderson, Bruce J. Hunt, Douglas Kahn, Timothy Lenoir, W. J. T. Mitchell, Marcos Novak, Edward Shanken, Richard Shiff, David Tomas, Sha Xin Wei, and Norton Wise.

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