Hi. My name is Finn Brunton and I’m an assistant professor at NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication (CV). I work on the history and theory of digital media technology, with a focus on adoption: how computing and networking machinery gets adapted, abused, modified, hacked, and transformed. I want to understand how we can use digital technologies to build a more equitable, just, decentralized, experimental and interesting society.
My first book is Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet (2013, MIT Press). I've co-written a second book, Obfuscation: A User's Guide for Privacy and Protest, with Helen Nissenbaum (2015, MIT Press). Right now I'm researching and writing a book about the history of digital cash and the technical imagination, and working on shorter articles, papers and chapters, including the history of formats for communication with extraterrestrial life, the Ashley Madison hack and its consequences, the production of random numbers, and a study of experimental currencies.
Aside from work: My sister Tess makes brilliant comics. A selfie with Sofía Bohtlingk’s amazing sculpture Dos personas. I love camping and running in mountains, forests, and deserts; the red-tailed hawks that live in my neighborhood; listening to weird daydream music people post on Soundcloud; and many other things.