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Ambient Commons The world is filling with ever kinds of media in ever contexts and formats Glowing rectangles have become part of the scene; screens large and small appear everywhere Physical locations are increasingly tagged and digitally augmented Sensors processors and memory are not found only in chic smart phones but also built into everyday objectsAmid this flood your attention practices matter than ever You might not be able to tune this world out So it is worth remembering that underneath all these augmentations and data flows fixed forms persist and that to notice them can improve other sensibilities In Ambient Commons Malcolm McCullough explores the workings of attention though a rediscovery of surroundings Not all that informs has been written and sent; not all attention involves deliberate thought The intrinsic structure of space the layout of a studio for example or a plaza becomes part of any mental engagement with itMcCullough describes what he calls the Ambient an increasing tendency to perceive information superabundance whole where individual signals matter less and at least some mediation assumes inhabitable form He explores how the fixed forms of architecture and the city play a cognitive role in the flow of ambient information As a persistently inhabited world can the Ambient be understood as a shared cultural resource to be socially curated voluntarily limited and self governed as if a commons Ambient Commons invites you to look past current obsessions with smart phones to rethink attention itself to care for situated often inescapable forms of information

9 thoughts on “Ambient Commons

  1. says:

    A pretty nice overview of the ambient factors of our hyper technological world This book hits at the pervasiveness of attention grabbing apparatuses though fails to go far enough to link these to power capital andor the state form Though I am partial to the argument that the latter is irrelevant it would still be nice to see it mentionedI liked the chapter on

  2. says:

    Anyone who has looked at art and sought to understand our perception of it could draw you to some of the embodieddisembodied experiences that McCullogh looks at in this book and in many ways he's applying some old figureground subjectobject dialogues to urban life and an age of superabundant data But what's so good about this book is its timeliness Creative cu

  3. says:

    This book started off slightly awkwardly like a hermit navigating a cocktail party with teuila shots but steadily evolved into sober coherence In the first 100 pages McCullough behaved as though he only had 1 minute left on earth and you were the only available receptacle of knowledge Mercilessly he cornered you as soon as you made eye contact walking through t

  4. says:

    Ambient Common is a cautiously optimistic survey of the swiftly arriving era of “pervasive computing” Or call it “augmented reality” or “ambient information” Just as this technology is just beginning to weave itself into almost everything we will use see and touch it has no agreed upon name Malcolm McCullough’s chief concern here seems to be find a

  5. says:

    McCullough is definitely a curmudgeon and I disagree with the amount of executive attention that he suggests smartphones reuire of digital natives and I think that they have a materiality to them that he does not adeuately take into account but I read very sympathetically when he starts talking about information pollution and rights to attention and silence and t

  6. says:

    related to how screens and interactive materials are changing architecture and how we think about the configurability of space Interesting but dense

  7. says:

    Malcolm McCullough is always on the mark This book is a tidy collection of things we should be thinking about as we move along in the digital age but probably aren't Insightful and provocative

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