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

Publisher

PDF

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

Publisher
WorldCat

HTML

Felix Stalder: The Digital Condition (2016–)

25 March 2018, dusan

“Our daily lives, our culture and our politics are now shaped by the digital condition as large numbers of people involve themselves in contentious negotiations of meaning in ever more dimensions of life, from the trivial to the profound. They are making use of the capacities of complex communication infrastructures, currently dominated by social mass media such as Twitter and Facebook, on which they have come to depend.

Amidst a confusing plurality, Felix Stalder argues that are three key constituents of this condition: the use of existing cultural materials for one’s own production, the way in which new meaning is established as a collective endeavour, and the underlying role of algorithms and automated decision-making processes that reduce and give shape to massive volumes of data. These three characteristics define what Stalder calls ‘the digital condition’. Stalder also examines the profound political implications of this new culture. We stand at a crossroads between post-democracy and the commons, a concentration of power among the few or a genuine widening of participation, with the digital condition offering the potential for starkly different outcomes.

This ambitious and wide-ranging theory of our contemporary digital condition will be of great interest to students and scholars in media and communications, cultural studies, and social, political and cultural theory, as well as to a wider readership interested in the ways in which culture and politics are changing today.”

First published in German as Kultur der Digitalität, Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2016.

Translated by Valentine Pakis
Publisher Polity Press, Cambridge, UK, 2018
ISBN 9781509519590, 1509519599
xi+204 pages

Reviews (in German)

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

HTML