Media Distortions

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Media Distortions tunes into the politics behind categories we take for granted such as spam and noise, and what these mean for our broader understanding of, and engagement with, media.


“Media Distortion provides an original, insightful and engaging counter-account of spam and noise as deviant media which have been paradoxically constituted as such to bring about a series of crucial transformations in our technologies and cultures of communication. Drawing on specific historical case studies and extending right into our present, by reverse engineering of the history of spam, Carmi brings a fresh perspective to bear on a media phenomenon which has received little critical attention”.  

Tiziana Terranova, author of Network Culture: Politics For the Information Age (Pluto Press)

“Distort and deviate” is the best summary for the mode of power Carmi’s exciting book analyses. The book’s rhythmic approach to noise and spam demonstrates how those seemingly unwanted aspects are at the centre of how contemporary territories and subjectivities are being formed and trained, measured and counted. Media Distortions is essential reading to understand contemporary network culture through a new pair ears, and many many new ideas”.

Professor Jussi Parikka, author of Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses

“In Media Distortions, Elinor Carmi offers an innovative approach to digital media. By drawing on sound studies, Digital Distortions puts forward a novel conceptual framework of ‘processed listening,’ which enables us to rethink noises, digital disturbances, spam, and deviant media in our lives. For Carmi, the sound of noise is not a nuisance, but an invitation to reveal hidden power relations that deeply shape who we are and how we think”.

Robert W. Gehl, author of Weaving the Dark Web: Legitimacy on Freenet, Tor, and I2P (MIT Press)

“Carmi offers a lucid and detailed examination of the taken-for-granted ‘deviant’ categories and processes of spam and noise. Significantly, through the focus on seven strategies of practitioners, the book convincingly demonstrates how common sense perceptions of these two categories are produced by power relations that make up both online and offline spaces of the everyday”.

Professor Evelyn Ruppert, author of Being Digital Citizens (Rowman & Littlefield International)