The iPhone and the Future of Media

Together with Patrick Vonderau I have during 2011 edited and worked on a forthcoming book on Apple’s iPhone – Moving Data: The iPhone and the Future of Media. The book will be published by Columbia University Press in July next year, and has now been announced online:

Less than two years after its 2007 release, the iPhone revolutionized not only how people communicate with each other and the world, but also how they consume and produce culture. Combining traditional and social media with mobile connectivity, the iPhone and other smart phones have redefined as well as expanded the dimensions of everyday life, allowing individuals to personalize media as they move and process constant flows of data. Today, millions of consumers love and live by their iPhones, but what are the implications of its special technology on society, media, and culture?Featuring an eclectic mix of original essays, Moving Data explores the iPhone as technological prototype, lifestyle gadget, and platform for media creativity. Media experts, cultural critics, and scholars consider the device’s newness and usability—especially its “lickability”—and its “biographical” story. Contributors provide ethnographic studies illuminating patterns of consumption; the fate of solitude against smartphone ubiquity; the economy of the app store and its perceived “crisis of choice;” and the distance between the accessibility of digital information and the protocols governing its use. Alternating between critical and conceptual analyses, essays link the design of participatory media to the iPhone’s technological features and routines of sharing, and they follow the extent to which the pleasures of gesture-based interfaces are redefining traditional notions of media usage and sensory experience. They also consider how user-led innovations, collaborative mapping, and creative empowerment are understood and reconciled with changes in mobile surveillance, personal rights, and prescriptive social software. Presenting a range of perspective and argument, this collection reorients the practice and study of media critique.