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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Annet Dekker: Collecting and Conserving Net Art: Moving beyond Conventional Methods (2018)

16 June 2018, dusan

Collecting and Conserving Net Art explores the qualities and characteristics of net art and its influence on conservation practices. By addressing and answering some of the challenges facing net art and providing an exploration of its intersection with conservation, the book casts a new light on net art, conservation, curating and museum studies.

Viewing net art as a process rather than as a fixed object, the book considers how this is influenced by and executed through other systems and users. Arguing that these processes and networks are imbued with ambiguity, the book suggests that this is strategically used to create suspense, obfuscate existing systems and disrupt power structures. The rapid obsolescence of hardware and software, the existence of many net artworks within restricted platforms and the fact that artworks often act as assemblages that change or mutate, make net art a challenging case for conservation. Taking the performative and interpretive roles conservators play into account, the book demonstrates how practitioners can make more informed decisions when responding to, critically analyzing or working with net art, particularly software-based processes.

Collecting and Conserving Net Art is intended for researchers, academics and postgraduate students, especially those engaged in the study of museum studies, conservation and heritage studies, curatorial studies, digital art and art history. The book should also be interesting to professionals who are involved in the conservation and curation of digital arts, performance, media and software.”

Publisher Routledge, 2018
ISBN 9780815382416, 0815382413
x+192 pages

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A Peer-Reviewed Newspaper, 2(1): Researching BWPWAP (2013)

11 February 2013, dusan

“In referring to the cancellation of Pluto’s planetary status in 2006, BWPWAP (Back When Pluto Was a Planet) – the 2013 edition of the transmediale festival – interrogates techno-cultural processes of displacement and invention, and asks for artistic and speculative responses to new cultural imaginaries. In light of this, the conference and workshop Researching BWPWAP took place in November 2012 in Lüneburg, Germany, organised jointly by Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Aarhus University and the reSource transmedial culture/transmediale. The call for participation focused on Ph.D. researchers and other participants to speculate on BWPWAP as a pretext for presenting their research and even to further reflect on its circulation as a meme.

This newspaper presents some outcomes of this process, and like the conference and workshop, can be interpreted in the context of a research culture that has been significantly destabilized by network culture and digital media. If the planet Pluto didn’t exactly fall prey to an epistemological break or a scientific revolution, but rather to a mundane administrative procedure – a redefinition of what constitutes a planet – then what does this say about contemporary research culture? Certainly, much research culture has shared Pluto’s fate: conferences reduced to networking events to foster cultural capital, and scholarly communications reduced to impact factors measured by grant givers. In other words, research is not just about measuring the performativity of a single researcher (the peer-reviewed journal system), but also the processes of questioning, investigating, speculating, and sharing between peers in a broader sense.” (from the Editorial)

Peer-reviewed newspaper, Volume 2, Issue 1, February 2013
Edited by Christian Ulrik Andersen and Geoff Cox
Publisher Digital Aesthetics Research Center, Aarhus University, in collaboration with reSource transmedial culture Berlin/transmediale
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license
ISBN 8791810256
ISSN 2245-7593

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PDF, PDF (updated on 2018-9-20)