• On covers
    I’ve been thinking about covers for a while now. One of the many great debates around the ephemeralisation of music has been the lamentations for the loss of cover art: now, we are reaching the same point with books. I say ephemeralisation rather than digitisation because it’s not just a physical transformation we’re going through, it’s a cognitive one. I’ve been repeating Walter Pater’s famous quote in my head a lot: “all art aspires to the condition of music”. Pater argued that “For while in all other works of art it is possible to distinguish the matter from the form, ...
  • At Port Eliot
    A quick note to say that I’ll be at the Port Eliot festival this weekend, and MENACE and I will be appearing in the Round Room at 2pm on Saturday, alongside Keith Albarn and David McCandless (of Information is Beautiful) as part of the World of Wonders. Say hello if you’re about, and any tips for other things to see gratefully received....
  • On waves
    “The French Revolution aroused and then disappointed Wordsworth, causing him to seek consolation in universal nature; it made Byron a rebel, and Southey a laureate; but it gave birth to Shelley. And the chief effect of the revolution on English life and thought is to be sought in literature rather than in politics. The great wave that broke over Europe in the roar of the Napoleonic wars spent its strength in vain on the political structure of these islands, but the air was long salt with its spray. And the poems of Shelley, if it be not too fanciful to ...
  • dConstruct 2010
    In September, I’ll be speaking at dConstruct, in Brighton. The theme of the day is design, which I don’t know very much about, and I wouldn’t put much stock by my talk description. Nevertheless, I will be talking about books, I expect, and attempting to close the circle on recent explorations of the book as designed object in time and space, and recent obsessions with loss and destruction in the works of Borges, Sebald, Bevan, Baez and others. And Geocities. You should buy a ticket. Some of the other folk look really good. ...
  • Of gays and griots: sexuality, technology and story-telling
    This post is going to talk about sex quite a lot. I’m going to assume you’re all OK with that. For me, technology, literature and sex are all bound up together, and this entanglement can be traced back to a single book: JC Herz’s Surfing on the Internet (Little, Brown; 1994). An exploration of the early net, a travelogue, an explicator of MUDs and MOOs, of chatrooms and founding memes; what was still, then, the Information Superhighway. I read the book in, I think, 1995. Within a month, I had a 28.8 modem and a Compuserve account. It’s probably impossible ...
  • For Hire is the blog of James Bridle, a book and technology specialist with specific expertise in planning and producing web and new media projects for clients in publishing and the arts. If you'd like to hire me, have a look at my CV and portfolio, and feel free to get in touch.

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    I am available for conferences and other events. For examples, see my talks at Interesting, Playful, South by Southwest, dConstruct and Tools of Change Frankfurt.

    A complete list of talks, with links, is available.