Megan Driscoll: Art on the Internet and the Digital Public Sphere, 1994-2003 (2018)

23 June 2018, dusan

“This dissertation narrates the development of internet art, a diverse set of practices united by their interrogation of the technological, social, and/or political bases of computer networks. Covering the period from 1994, when internet art coalesced around the rise of the World Wide Web, to 2003, when both internet art and internet culture writ large began to respond to the rise of social media and web 2.0 technologies, the dissertation homes in on specific net art projects that variously engaged or challenged this period’s most persistent claim: that the internet is a new, digital public sphere. By studying how these artworks critiqued this claim, the dissertation uncovers three major models through which net art has asserted the publicness of computer networks—as an interpersonal network that connects or unites strangers into groups; as a virtual space akin to physical spaces of public gathering, discourse, and visibility; and as a unique platform for public speech, a new mass media potentially accessible to all.

Claims for the public status of computer networks rest on their ability to circulate information and facilitate discussion and debate. This definition of publicness is rooted in the concept of the classical public sphere as theorized by J�rgen Habermas. The dissertation thus reviews Habermas’s model of the classical public sphere, and its most significant critiques, in order to interrogate the terms of a digital public sphere. The dissertation also engages Michael Warner’s work on the formation of publics, counterpublics, and the mass-cultural public sphere; Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge’s analysis of shared experience as the foundation of the formation of public spheres and the role of mass media in this process; Henri Lefebvre’s articulation of the social production of space; and Gilles Deleuze and Alexander Galloway’s respective analyses of the role of network logics in systems of control.

As a whole, the dissertation provides an historical account and critical analysis of internet art that encompasses not only its technological evolution but also its confrontation with the claims of publicness upon which our understanding of computer networks, and the art made on and about them, are founded.”

PhD Dissertation
Publisher University of California, Los Angeles, 2018
349 pages
via Cornelia

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Kenneth Goldsmith: The Ideal Lecture: In Memory of David Antin (2018)

28 May 2018, dusan

“This lecture premiered at The Louvre auditorium as part of FIAC’s public programs in October, 2017. To give it, I loaded the talk into a teleprompter program on my laptop. The linebreaks in the piece are a result of the way the teleprompter program broke them up in order to facilitate the reading of the work. Although I have never written lineated verse, I love the idea that a computer lineated the verse for me. This lecture, then, reads an awful lot like the way I talk, but it is truly nothing like the way I talk.”

Publisher Het Balanseer, Ghent, 2018
ISBN 9789079202522
62 pages

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Ellen Ullman: Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology (2017)

21 March 2018, dusan

“The last twenty years have brought us the rise of the internet, the development of artificial intelligence, the ubiquity of once unimaginably powerful computers, and the thorough transformation of our economy and society. Through it all, Ellen Ullman lived and worked inside that rising culture of technology, and in Life in Code she tells the continuing story of the changes it wrought with a unique, expert perspective.

When Ellen Ullman moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s and went on to become a computer programmer, she was joining a small, idealistic, and almost exclusively male cadre that aspired to genuinely change the world. In 1997 Ullman wrote Close to the Machine, the now classic and still definitive account of life as a coder at the birth of what would be a sweeping technological, cultural, and financial revolution.

Twenty years later, the story Ullman recounts is neither one of unbridled triumph nor a nostalgic denial of progress. It is necessarily the story of digital technology’s loss of innocence as it entered the cultural mainstream, and it is a personal reckoning with all that has changed, and so much that hasn’t.”

Publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017
ISBN 9780374534516, 0374534519
viii+306 pages
via andre

Video talk (54 min, 2017)

Reviews: J.D. Biersdorfer (New York Times, 2017), Jessica Bennett (Elle, 2017).

Publisher
WorldCat

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