Professor Gaboury wins the Computer History Museum Prize
November 17, 2022
Congratulations to Professor Jacob Gaboury! He won the 2022 Computer History Museum Prize for his book, Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics.
The Computer History Museum Prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding book in the history of computing broadly conceived, published during the prior three years. The prize of $1,000 is awarded by SIGCIS, the Special Interest Group for Computers, Information and Society. SIGCIS is part of the Society for the History of Technology.
In 2012 the prize was endowed in perpetuity through a generous bequest from the estate of Paul Baran, a legendary computer innovator and entrepreneur best known for his work to develop and promote the packet switching approach on which modern networks are built. Baran was a longtime supporter of work on the history of information technology and named the prize to celebrate the contributions of the Computer History Museum to that field.
Jacob Gaboury, Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics (MIT Press, 2021)
Elegant and thorough, Image Objects was both enjoyable to read and exciting to engage with. The committee was particularly impressed by Jacob Gaboury’s extensive range of methodological tools, each revealing a different aspect of what he astutely describes as a “phenomenal invisibility of computer graphics.” The judges found especially compelling the book’s arguments regarding the materiality of computation—arguments that the author points out are resistant to “revolutionary” narratives of computing history. With its carefully crafted assemblage of chapters, each focusing on a technical artifact of choice—an algorithm, an interface, an object standard, a programming paradigm, and a hardware platform—the book’s intellectual goals embody, and will certainly further catalyze, the interdisciplinary dialogues of the SIGCIS community.