"I doubt anyone is surprised by Bridle's eloquent arguments that an overabundance of data has brought us into a period of profound disconnect and uncertainty. But his demonstrations of how the physical footprint of virtual space developed along the physical lines of traditionally imperialist, elitist power and continue to reinforce ever-deepening chasms of inequality are fascinating and alarming." --Recommended by Christopher P., City Lights Booksellers
How the Information Age destroys knowledge.
As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world.
In reality, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we're living in a new Dark Age.
From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us. The media is filled with unverifiable speculation, much of it generated by anonymous software, while companies dominate their employees through surveillance and the threat of automation.
In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle surveys the history of art, technology, and information systems, and reveals the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime.