Erik Davis  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Erik Davis (b. 1967 in Redwood City, California) is a North American social historian, cultural critic, essayist and lecturer.

He is noted for his study of the history of technology and society and his essays about the fate of the individual in the dawning posthuman era. Although significants aspects of his work include media criticism and technology criticism, his works span across other disciplines to include a larger social history of art, religion, and science, technology, and politics.

He is also a noted Philip K. Dick scholar. His most recently published research has focused on the history of utopian movements in California. He is known for his lively writing style in a number of genres and on varied subjects.


His book, TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, was released by Harmony Books in the fall of 1998. It has been translated into five languages.

Davis' book Led Zeppelin IV is an exploration of the legendary album. The book was released as part of the Continuum Books 33 1/3 series of books, which explores many of the most influential albums.

In 2006, the book The Visionary State: A Journey Through California's Spiritual Landscape was published by Chronicle Books. A collaboration between Davis and photographer Michael Rauner, it explores the peculiar attraction California holds for seekers of all kinds.

Erik Davis' essays have appeared in Wired Magazine, Feed, and over half a dozen books. He is a regular participant and speaker at the annual Burning Man Festival.


Davis grew up in the milieu of Southern California during the heyday and simultaneous decline of the 70's "lifestyle" revolution in North American culture of which his native state was considered the epicenter. His early interest in philosophy led him to both study the history of philosophy and the folk contemporary "religions" and spiritual movements of his native state. His first critical and scholarly work of note began as a thesis on Philip K. Dick which he completed at Yale.

Davis became an independent scholar, author, lecturer, and freelance intellectual in the 80's and 90's.

His distinctive work continues to focus on the history of both material culture and the imaginative investment and subjectivity that haunts it.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Erik Davis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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