Peter Lunenfeld

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Peter Lunenfeld is a professor in the Design | Media Arts department at UCLA. He is one of the steering committee members of the campus-wide, interdisciplinary Digital Humanities undergraduate minor and graduate concentration. He has a B.A. in history from Columbia University, an MA in Media Studies from SUNY Buffalo, and a Ph.D. from UCLA in Film, Television and New Media from UCLA.

A co-authored volume, Digital Humanities: Theory in Practice is forthcoming in 2012 from the MIT Press. The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine came out from the MIT Press in May, 2011. Jan Baetens writes that it “is a book whose political importance can be compared to that of McLuhan.., Adorno (one will think here of Minima Moralia), and Dewey (and behind him the American pragmatist tradition of critical inquiry).” Johanna Drucker writes that USER: InfoTechnoDemo (MIT, 2005) “begs to be compared with the landmark 1966 collaboration by Quentin Fiore, Jerome Agel, and Marshall McLuhan that resulted in The Medium is the Massage.” New Scientist’s featured review of Snap to Grid: A User’s Guide to Digital Arts, Media & Cultures (MIT, 2000) concluded by saying that artists working with digital technologies “now have their bible, their Stones of Venice, theirWays of Seeing.” Afterimage referred to the edited collection The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media (MIT, 1999) as “the first printed book you read about the virtual world that does not merely describe it, but puts you there.” His work has been translated into nine languages, and he has published over 70 articles. In 2011, the Journal of Visual Culture and Design and Culture combined forces to run a two-part interview about his work as a theorist and cultural producer.

He is creator and editorial director of the multi-award-winning Mediawork project, a pamphlet series for the MIT Press which redefined the relationship between serious academic discourse and graphic design, and between book publishing and the World Wide Web. These “theoretical fetish objects” cover the intersections of media, art, design and technology. The pamphlets have been discussed everywhere from the New York Review of Books to Entertainment Weekly, and have won awards for both writing and design. Lev Manovich, lauded these 100+ page “mind bombs” as “a new operating system for the book.” The project is supported by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and Jeffrey and Catharine Soros. They include Utopian Entrepreneur (2001) by Brenda Laurel, designed by Denise Gonzales Crisp; Writing Machines (2002) by N. Katherine Hayles, designed by Anne Burdick; Rhythm Science (2004) by Paul D. Miller aka Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid, designed by COMA; and Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling, designed by Lorraine Wild (2005).

His current research interests are taking him deeper into questions about new modes of knowledge formation that go beyond print, the design of the digital humanities, and the centrality of meaning making to digital culture. He has held fellowships at the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall in Paris, and in the Vectors program at the USC Annenberg Center. 

(Source: Peter Lunenfeld's website.) 

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Peter Lunenfeld
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Eric Dean Rasmussen