I come from Birmingham, England, and studied philosophy at the University of Manchester where I gained my PhD in 1989. I taught Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham for five years before becoming a Research Fellow in 1995 at the University of Warwick in 1995 when the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit was first set up. I have also taught on the Fine Art MA at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, and am currently a Gastdozentin at the Zürcher Hochschule der Kunst. 

I published three books in the 1990s: The Most Radical Gesture, which grew out of my doctoral research about the situationists; Zeros and Ones, which offers an alternative, feminist account of the history and nature of digital technology; and Writing on Drugs, which argues that the enormous influence of psychoactive substances on mainstream Western culture makes a nonsense of the so-called 'war on drugs'. In 2001 I completed a major research project for Motorola on the social impact of the mobile phone; in 2009 I was commissioned to write a short book to mark the fortieth anniversary of an innovative inner-city nursery school; and over the years I have written for English language newspapers and magazines as varied as the Independent, the Financial TimesWiredAdbusters, and the New Statesman, as well as more specialised journals, books, and catalogues in the fields of architecture, the arts, and new technology. I have also made many appearances on radio and TV, including BBC programmes such as NewsnightThe Late Show, and In Our Time, and have spoken at a wide variety of conferences, festivals, and symposia in the UK and around the world.

In the last few years I have also supplemented my own writing by translating from German to English.
To this practical work I also bring my interests in creative and experimental writing, a knowledge of other languages (in particular French and Arabic), access to the latest trends in UK English, and familiarity with Swiss German language and culture.