Inside the Machine

Inside the Machine

Art and Invention in the Electronic Age

Book - 2015
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WW Norton
A hidden history of the twentieth century’s brilliant innovations—as seen through art and images of electronics that fed the dreams of millions.A rich historical account of electronic technology in the twentieth century, Inside the Machine journeys from the very origins of electronics, vacuum tubes, through the invention of cathode-ray tubes and transistors to the bold frontier of digital computing in the 1960s.But, as cultural historian Megan Prelinger explores here, the history of electronics in the twentieth century is not only a history of scientific discoveries carried out in laboratories across America. It is also a story shaped by a generation of artists, designers, and creative thinkers who gave imaginative form to the most elusive matter of all: electrons and their revolutionary powers.As inventors learned to channel the flow of electrons, starting revolutions in automation, bionics, and cybernetics, generations of commercial artists moved through the traditions of Futurism, Bauhaus, modernism, and conceptual art, finding ways to link art and technology as never before.A visual tour of this dynamic era, Inside the Machine traces advances and practical revolutions in automation, bionics, computer language, and even cybernetics. Nestled alongside are surprising glimpses into the inner workings of corporations that shaped the modern world: AT&T, General Electric, Lockheed Martin.While electronics may have indelibly changed our age, Inside the Machine reveals a little-known explosion of creativity in the history of electronics and the minds behind it.
A visual history of the electronic age captures the collision oftechnology and art—and our collective visions of the future.

Baker & Taylor
Traces the developments of the electronic age, providing a visual history of the 20th century's innovations that brought advancement in automation, bionics, computer language, and cybernetics.

Book News
An unusual history of twentieth-century technology, this book uses art and design to look at the history of electronics. It includes profiles of artists, designers, and other creatives, such as Jacqueline Casey at MIT, who were involved in visualizing and popularizing new electronic technologies. The author is a cultural historian and the co-founder and information designer of the Prelinger Library. The text offers some details about the science involved and a great deal of focus on the ways that visual images and narrative stories shape how people see and create new research, and how technologies develop cultural reputations which affect both public opinion and practices within the field. The text contains many black and white and color illustrations. Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

In a visual history of the electronic age, the brilliant innovations of the 20th century are brought to life through art and images of electronics, tracing the advances and practical revolutions in automation, bionics, computer language and cybernetics.

Publisher: New York ; London : W. W. Norton & Company, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393083590
Branch Call Number: 621.381 P92
Characteristics: 269 pages : illustrations, chiefly color ; 25 cm


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