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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)July 9, 2003

(Mahwah) – Jonathan Lipkin, an associate professor of digital media at Ramapo College of New Jersey and a member of the graduate faculty of the School of Visual Arts, and Charles H. Traub, chair of the Master of Fine Arts in Photography and Related Media program at the School of Visual Arts, are co-authors of the recently-published book on culture, technology and art, In the Realm of the Circuit.

This book is about creativity and humanity,” says Lipkin, a resident of Brooklyn, NY. We wanted to explore how the computer fits into contemporary society.” He adds, The computer allows us to get back to the foundations of what our culture is, which is being creative, and being creative builds culture.”

An introduction to the aesthetic and historical precedents of the new electronic media’s multi-faceted human dialog, In the Realm of the Circuit is the story of how technology has always been integrally connected to human expression and connects technological practice to cultural heritage. The intrinsic links between art, technology and the humanities are examined, especially with regard to how they are shaped and how they shape each other.

This profusely and imaginatively illustrated volume draws on art, artifacts, icons and annotations from ancient civilization to the present, to illustrate the 21st century’s drive to the current possibilities of the computer. This volume allows students, scholars and creative individuals to place today’s sometimes daunting technological achievements in a humanist framework. Cultural literacy is necessary for those who may be blindly practicing within the realm of the circuit but who do not consider the need in their work for values rooted in the longstanding evolution of art, design, music and literature.

As an introductory text, In the Realm of the Circuit establishes a tenor for classroom discussion around specific ideas, such as the Cathedral of Notre Dame or the African griot, as sites of multimedia practice which establish the foundations for today’s digital culture.

According to the authors of In the Realm of the Circuit, a new generation of digitally-savvy students needs a cultural primer in order to engage the now ubiquitous multimedia possibilities of the computer. The interdisciplinary and intercultural nature of this book suggests that multimedia is the platform for bringing together students’ own diverse backgrounds.

In the Realm of the Circuit establishes:

  • That creativity is a process of conveying meaning.
  • That creative individuals in the digital age allow others to imaginatively negotiate the paths of creativity through new networks.
  • The relation of all the arts – music, theater, visual arts, literature and so forth – to digital media, and to one another.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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