English Summary: The Behind of the Computer

The Behind of the Computer
Writings on Technological Pleasur

The Behind of the Computer discusses digitalization and digital culture from the perspectives of personality, different technological discourses and pleasure. The book deals with the relation of the computers to media technological networks with the aid of an extensive material of sources, including web sites, photos, texts, equipments and audio-visual material. Digitalization is especially manifested through the cultural history of technological emotions and sensations in the 20th Century. Apart from the computer, the chapters of the book shed light, among other things, on questions associated with the history of television and radio (through the framework of cultural appropriation of technology). What is essential in the book is a historic-cultural approach to technology: how technology of today and prophecies for the future use and exploit traces of the past?

The book is aimed at all those who share an interest in digital culture, information technology and media and technoculture. The book is based on empirical studies of primary sources and is methodological in its nature. In the book, concrete examples are used to discuss how it is possible to study and analyse media technological articulations in the cultural and historical context. The book also provides guidelines to an applied cultural historical study of technology.

The author is Professor of Digital Culture at the University of Turku (The Unit of Pori) and Docent of Digital Culture, especially of Cultural History of Technology, at the University of Jyväskylä.


A Preliminary Disposition

An Introduction: Pleasure to the Fore

I Introduction of Technology

  1. The Buzz of the Electric Brain. The Mainframe Computing, Sensing and Civilizing [about content in English, see Suominen, Jaakko: ”Symbol of Modernity. Popularisation of early computers in Finland in the late 1950′s as an audiovisual experience.” History in Global Perspective: Proceedings of the 20th Congress of Historical Sciences, Sydney 2005. Edited by Martyn Lyons.]
  2. Machines in Duckburg. The Aku Ankka (Donald Duck) comic book as a narrator of technology in Finland of the 1950s [about content in English, see Suominen, Jaakko: ”Machines in Duckburg. Inventing in Walt Disneys Comic Book Donald Duck in Finland during the 1950s.” European Social Science History conference, Amsterdam 24.3.2006. (ask the paper from the author)]
  3. A Dance with the Help of a Computer? A Finnish history of digital pairing

II Reminiscence of Technology

  1. Machine romance. Computer as a tool for love
  2. The phenomenon of ‘retro gaming’ as a new trend [about content in English, see Suominen, Jaakko: “The Past as the Future? Nostalgia and Retrogaming in Digital Culture.” Proceedings for DAC2007, Perth, forthcoming (ask the paper from the author)]

III Questioning of Technology

  1. Media technological deja-vu? Radio, telephone, TV and computer as collected narratives
  2. At the limits of using the net – or how we became addicted to the net

Conclusion: on the backside of the machine

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