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Cold War Legacies – Systems, Theory, Aesthetics - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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Cold War Legacies: Systems, Theory, Aesthetics

John Beck and Ryan Bishop


What are the legacies of the Cold War? This interdisciplinary collection explores how, in a number of fundamental ways, contemporary life and thought continue to be shaped by theories, technologies and attitudes that were forged during World War II and developed into organisational structures during the long Cold War. From futures research, pattern recognition algorithms, nuclear waste disposal and surveillance technologies, to smart weapons systems, contemporary fiction and art, this book shows that we live in a world imagined and engineered during the Cold War.

Keywords: critical theory, aesthetics, cold war, systems, culture, militarization, nuclear, communications, surveillance, cybernetics, data/big data/metadata, literary studies, remote sensing systems

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9781474409483
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474409483.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Beck, editor
University of Westminster

Ryan Bishop, editor
Winchester School of Art

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Introduction The Long Cold War

John Beck and Ryan Bishop

I Pattern Recognition

II The Persistence of the Nuclear

III Ubiquitous Surveillance

IV Pervasive Mediations

Chapter 13 Overt Research

Neal White and John Beck

End Matter