2014 MIT Press: Platform Studies Series
Anastasia Salter, John Murray
This book sets out to interpret Flash as one of the first truly ubiquitous computational media platforms, drawing from its evolution across multiple companies and the role it played in both establishing many conventions for authoring and accessing media on the web. We examine closely the authoring tools and the underlying technologies alongside the cultural products and context of the technology, with its roots in automating animation tasks and its niche in amateur-produced web content. Ultimately Flash established an inroad for non-programmers and was the first platform for a generation of electronic literature artists, animators and makers
Despite the news otherwise, Flash is not dead. Rather, as Salter and Murray’s book Flash: Building the Interactive Web shows, it lives on through its influence upon HTML5 and contemporary ‘expectations of web content development.’ This book, therefore, is a fascinating study of one of the most important platforms of artistic expression of the early twenty-first century. A must-read for all scholars and artists of digital media.
(Dene Grigar, Associate Professor and Director of The Creative Media and Digital Culture Program, Washington State University Vancouver)
Combining historical research, software studies, and a deep appreciation for digital creativity, Salter and Murray dramatically explore Flash — whose very ubiquity has heretofore made it transparent to media scholars — as the defining technology for a generation of artists, storytellers, game designers, and Web 2.0 companies.
(Mark Sample, Associate Professor of Digital Studies, Davidson College; coauthor of 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10)
Salter and Murray have written a much-needed book that documents the history of a vital cultural product. The authors do a terrific job of using Flash to cast light on a larger media landscape. Highly unique, this is the best and most provocative work I’ve encountered about emerging technologies since the publication of The Cyborg Handbook.
(Aaron Delwiche, Associate Professor of Communication, Trinity University)