Virginia Heffernan: Cultural critic and author of “MAGIC AND LOSS: The Internet as Art”
“The Internet favors speed, accuracy, wit, prolificacy, and versatility. But it also favors integrity, mindfulness, and wise action. For however alien in appearance, the Internet is a cultural object visibly on a continuum with all the cultural artifacts that preceded it. It is not a break with history; neither is it ‘progress.’ It’s just what happened to be next. It is not outside human civilization; it is a new and formidable iteration of that civilization. It’s also a brilliant commentary on it.”
Virginia Heffernan, preface to Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art, 2016
Virginia Heffernan is a critic and journalist, and the author, most recently, of Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Considering the Internet as artistic masterwork, Heffernan analyzes what the Internet is, what it does, and what it could be. “The best writing on Angry Birds you’ll ever encounter,” says Wired magazine of Magic and Loss, and The New York Review of Books calls the book “ecstatic, surprisingly moving.” Heffernan was the “Machine Politics” and “Appitude” columnist at Yahoo! News. From 2006 to 2011, she wrote television criticism and “The Medium” column for The New York Times Magazine. A former editor at Harper’s and Slate, she has her Master’s and a Ph.D. in English literature from Harvard.