Does new media represent a 'new avant-garde' of information? How can an information society be represented iconically if the activities that define it are all so dynamic? What are the cultural consequences of extending the internet into the physical world? In proposing software as modernity's new societal force, this book seeks to reclassify software as today's revitalized combustion engine, underpinning the logic of contemporary culture. Manovich investigates the ways in which the shift from an industrial to information society has resulted in new aesthetic sensibilities and representations. He describes software as the internal combustion engine of the information society, arguing that it is in software that the new cultural logic manifests itself most clearly. This is a cutting-edge and systematic examination of contemporary culture by the creator of the field of software studies.