"I'm a cultural critic. I wrote Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century (Grove Press, 1996), a critique of fringe computer culture, and edited the essay collection Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture (Duke University Press, 1995). I also wrote Culture Jamming: Hacking, Slashing, and Sniping in the Empire of Signs (Open Magazine Pamphlet Series, 1993), a monograph on guerrilla semiotics and information war.
"I've written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, Omni, ArtNews, Elle, Interview, New York, The Village Voice, Wired, Mondo 2000, The Discovery Channel Online, Suck, Salon, Semiotext(e), Adbusters, 21.C, and World Art (I'm a contributing editor to the last two magazines). Addenda, ephemera, and apocrypha can be found here.
"I'm writing The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium (Grove Press, 1998), a collection of essays on fin-de-millennium America that takes its title from a 19th-century sobriquet for Coney Island's Luna Park, where funhouse and madhouse met. Reflecting on a culture buffeted by megatrends and mass manias, solitary obsessions and subcultural crazes, I'm considering the firestorm at the Branch Davidians' Ranch Apocalypse; the survivalist Right's paranoid visions of black helicopters over America; the Unabomber's status as a cultural icon; the mainstreaming of S&M; the neoprimitive fad for piercing, branding, and other forms of fashionable self-mutilation; and the mounting fear of flesh-eating viruses and biblical plagues. I see the increasingly carnivalesque nature of late 20th-century America as both pregnant with utopian possibility and symptomatic of advanced culture rot.