Communications Professors Donatella Della Ratta and Peter Sarram Co-edit Book on Digital Cultures
John Cabot University Communications Professors Donatella Della Ratta and Peter Sarram, along with Geert Lovink (Director of the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences), and Teresa Numerico (Professor of Philosophy of Science at Roma Tre University), have recently edited an anthology called The Aesthetics and Politics of the Online Self: A Savage Journey into the Heart of Digital Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).
The book is a collection of essays on the “online self,” where the authors discuss, among other things, “hacker groups, gaming platforms in the occupied territories, art objects, selfies, augmented reality, and Gen Z autoethnographies.” The anthology is the result of a two-day conference held in Rome on May 22-24, 2017, called “Fear and Loathing of the Online Self.” Organized by Roma Tre University, JCU, and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the conference dealt with multiple cultural, political, aesthetic aspects of online identity.
The three sections of the book address the “politics of algorithmic representation,” the “aesthetics, design, and visuality of the self,” and the issue of “mask, anonymity, and visibility.” In between the different sections, the editors have included a series of “Entr’actes designed as interludes,” that feature visuals and short texts from artists who attended the “Fear and Loathing of the Online Self” conference in Rome. “The texts we brought together are both a product of, and look back at, the recent age of the selfie,” said the editors in the book’s introduction.
The anthology includes essays by Wendy Chun, Franco Berardi “BIFO”, Julia Preisker, Katherine Behar, Rebecca Stein, Fabio Cristiano, Emilio Distretti, Natalie Bookchin, Ana Peraica, Mitra Azar, Donatella Della Ratta, Gabriella Coleman, Marco Deseriis, Alberto Micali, Daniel de Zeeuw, Giovanni Boccia Artieri, and Jodi Dean. The art is by Shu Lea Cheang, Antonia Hernandez, Marguerite Kalhor, Simon Boas & Kris Blackmore, and Francisco Gonzalez Rosas.
Donatella Della Ratta is Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies at John Cabot University, Italy. She specializes in digital media and networked technologies with a focus on the Arab world.
Peter Sarram is Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies at John Cabot University, Italy. His work revolves around questions of popular culture, social identities, and technology.
Geert Lovink is director of the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, and author of Sad by Design.
Teresa Numerico is Associate Professor of philosophy of science at Roma Tre University, Italy. Her research interests lie at the intersection between philosophy, ethics, and politics of technology with a focus on Artificial Intelligence.