Deep Search: The Politics of Search Beyond Google


A Publication of Word-Information Institute:

Konrad Becker/ Felix Stalder [eds.] Studienverlag & Transaction Publishers, 2009. 220 pages. ISBN 978-3-7065-4795-6

Information is useless if it cannot be found and it is not a co-incidence that a search engine like Google has turned into one of the most significant companies of the new century. These engines are never just practical tools to deal with information overload. Such cognitive technologies embed political philosophy in seemingly neutral code.

"Deep Search is the most profound set of statements and questions yet on the new universal machine, the search engine. Knowledge about the networks and the means of sorting them starts from the grounds of politics, culture and the formation of life rather than what is simply technically or legally possible. This book demands to be used." Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths, University of London, author of Media Ecologies

"This collection gets to the heart of the most important issues concerning our global information ecosystem: Will the ‘soft power’ of one, two, or three corporations exert inordinate yet undetectable influence over what we consider important, beautiful, or true? What are the possibilities for resistance? What are the proper avenues for law, policy, and personal choices? This book walks us through these challenges like no other before it." Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia, author of The Googlization of Everything

"Deep Search" collects 13 texts which investigate the social and political dimensions of how we navigate the deep seas of knowledge. What do we win, and what do we lose when we move from an analogue to a digital information order? How is computer readable significance produced, how is meaning involved in machine communication? Where is the emancipatory potential of having access to such vast amounts of information? What are the dangers of our reliance on search engines? And are there any approaches that do not follow the currently dominating paradigm of Google? These questions of culture, context und classification in information systems should not be ignored since what is at stake is nothing less than how we, as individuals and institutions, come to find out about the world. Because what cannot be found does not exist.

With articles by Konrad Becker, Robert Darnton, Paul Duguid, Joris van Hoboken, Claire Lobet-Maris, Geert Lovink, Lev Manovich, Katja Mayer, Metahaven, Matteo Pasquinelli, Bernhard Rieder, Theo Röhle, Richard Rogers, Felix Stalder & Christine Mayer.