advertisement

you want to be liked I like you & your dissertation linked below

 

Figure 8.6 Sondra Perry, It’s in the Game (2017), screenshot of video demo

 

from Megan Philipa Driscoll’s Art on the Internet and the Digital Public Sphere, 1994 – 2003

© Copyright by
Megan Philipa Driscoll
2018

(shared on Nettime by Cornelia Sollfrank 25.06.2018)

 

abstract

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” began to coalesce 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 a
select number of 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 Jürgen Habermas. The dissertation will
thus review Habermas’s model of the classical public sphere as well as its most significant
critiques in order to interrogate the terms of a digital public sphere. The dissertation will also
engage 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 contemporary systems of control.

The dissertation begins with a chapter overview of the emergence of computer
networking during the second half of the twentieth century and the different ways in which
artists experimented with it to explore new modes of communication, collaboration, and
exchange. With the appearance of the web in the mid-1990s, and with growing art institutional
interest in its novelty, these experiments crystallized into what we now know as internet art,
bringing with it challenging questions regarding the viability of the internet as an unprecedented
digital public sphere.

The second chapter turns to this emergent field of net art and how some artists tried to
define the terms of a new public sphere as an interpersonal network that allows people who are
not in physical or temporal proximity with each other to form publics. The chapter explores
Douglas Davis’s The World’s First Collaborative Sentence (1994) and Heath Bunting’s Project
X (1996), two works that use the strategy of accumulation to make visible the collective presence
of internet users, either as a reading public formed through the circulation of discourse or as a
public united by the articulation of its members’ shared experience. The third chapter introduces
practices that challenge the presumed universality of the digital public sphere by foregrounding
gender and race issues, which are often obscured in dominant discourses regarding computer
networks. The chapter focuses on Cornelia Sollfrank’s Female Extension (1997) and Mendi +
Keith Obadike’s Black.Net.Art Actions (2001 – 2003), demonstrating how these works help to
define the counterpublics of the digital public sphere by circulating marginalized discourses on
the web in opposition to the mainstream.

The fourth chapter examines the spatialization of computer networks and how the
internet’s communication platforms have become conceptually analogous to ancient forums or
seventeenth-century coffee shops. Through analyses of Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen’s Listening
Post (2001) and Natalie Bookchin and Jacqueline Stevens’s agoraXchange (2003), the chapter
attends to both utopian and skeptical views regarding the viability of the internet as a (virtual)
space of public gathering and discourse. Chapter five further interrogates the idea that the
internet is a theater of visibility, where actions are public because they cannot be private. The
first artwork in this chapter, RSG’s Carnivore (2001), critically addresses computer networks as
a surveillance technology and part of a system of social control. The second work, Eva and
Franco Mattes’s Life Sharing (2000 – 2003), explores what happens when internet users embrace
this condition of (hyper)visibility, freely sharing not only their personal information but also
their intellectual property, thereby eliding spatial and juridical notions of public domain.

The sixth chapter addresses the notion of computer networks as a new mass medium of
public speech, a platform for publicity that is also a site of struggle to exert influence on the
public sphere. Homing in on the work of net art collective ®TMark, the chapter follows how the
collective uses parody to challenge institutions that seem complicit in the commercialization of
ivthe network and the suppression of individuals’ access to the network’s platforms for public
speech. In the seventh chapter, the dissertation turns to artists’ responses to a legal challenge that
threatened their speech rights on the network, a set of actions known today as Toywar (1999 –
2000). The chapter also contends with how etoy, a collective of artists involved in the litigation,
took up corporate branding as artistic practice to reframe internet communication platforms as
tools of mass publicity in a mass-cultural public sphere.

The final chapter concludes with a reflection on the changes in the forms of net art and its
place in the field of contemporary art that followed the first phase of net art, the central focus of
the dissertation. While acknowledging the transformation of the online environment brought on
by social media and other “web 2.0” technologies, the chapter argues that the question of
whether computer networks can function as a digital public sphere remains an open and
contested one. The dissertation as a whole thus 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.

 

advertisement
detraque
network critical
pique-assiettes
porte-parole
tagged

Comments (0)

Permalink

Puerto Rico’s Sol or Puertopia (if it didn’t translate as eternal boy): a new society founded by believers in virtual currency

proposed site for crypto-utopian city-within-a-city:

and:

Read “Making a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico” by Nellie Bowles 2/2/2018

 

advertisement
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
National Scandal
network critical
pique-assiettes

Comments (0)

Permalink

the window is open a crack; but I will not sober up and shut it.

The Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic sniffs the breeze and smells the austerity on the breath of Ardern’s Labour Party.

advertisement
pique-assiettes
porte-parole
tagged

Comments (0)

Permalink

time to watch Hair again

advertisement
detraque
porte-parole

Comments (0)

Permalink

for Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain edited by Marc Garrett, Ruth Catlow and Sam Skinner

A new proto-blockchain artwork by Prof Chris Speed and the Design Informatics Department at Edinburgh University will be embedded throughout the book (using machine/app readable matrix barcode for print version) enabling readers to ‘like’ different parts of the book, sub-linked to a financial trading algorithm, and build their own financial portfolio, creating a playfully interactive and direct experience of blockchain technology

— from PR blurb at Oxford University Press

The project has also benefitted from a grant for the The Cultural Capital Exchange (HEFCE and ACE) programme to develop the project and content, and an additional grant from Arts Council England, which will support launch events at FACT, Furtherfield and LSE, London

— from PR blurb at Oxford University Press >> see also the article citing the HEFCE “From social rights to the market: neoliberalism and the knowledge economy” by John Holmwood here

advertisement
Ἀκαδήμεια
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
network critical
pique-assiettes

Comments (0)

Permalink

activate counterfactual knowledge systems, perform poetic resistance, the subject of the hole in the pole: create underground

advertisement
porte-parole

Comments (0)

Permalink

mellow waves

advertisement
pique-assiettes

Comments (0)

Permalink

of course as a contributing writer you may find yourself on a beautiful site (designed) with some beautiful writing (actual critique) and you may ask yourself…

the answer is:

the perverse

delights of

artistic incest

& nepotism

in NZ

introducing

the pantograph punch

advertisement
National Scandal
pique-assiettes
theatricality

Comments (0)

Permalink

CALL FOR ALL INTERESTED IN“a society in miniature” 朦胧

David Byrne on Black Mountain as model

朦胧

The Menglong School of Arts and Culture?

朦胧

for Waiheke Island?

advertisement
Ἀκαδήμεια
hommangerie
imarginaleiro
inanimadvertisement
infemmarie
pique-assiettes
porte-parole

Comments (0)

Permalink

winning productions summer show plays Hamilton, West and Central Auckland – click on image below for details

advertisement

Comments (0)

Permalink