[-empyre-] shifting identities within the netopticon

Heidi May mayh at ecuad.ca
Tue Jan 25 12:43:47 EST 2011

*fingers crossed that this one makes it to the list

The discussions thus far have been fantastic! I will definitely be  
bouncing back to ideas brought up during the past couple of weeks. I  
first need to thank Simon Biggs for inviting me to contribute to this  
discussion. I'd also like to thank Christina, Marc, Davin, and Jon &  
Alison for their insightful contributions and excellent facilitation.

The past discussions have led me to consider a few different ways to  
approach my topic this week, which to summarize briefly involves:

* reflecting on our shifting identities with/in and in-between  
networks, focusing of course on the notion of the netopticon, and  
thinking about how these structures (both material and immaterial) and  
experiences impact how we represent, communicate, and understand our  
multiple selves *

By using the word "structures," I am thinking along the same lines as  
Jon & Alison from their Jan. 16th discussion, for example, when they  
touched on the "nature of the template structure prevalent in web 2.0  
platforms, and *the intentions they might often belie, that quietly  
habituate users into complicity*." I am particularly drawn to works of  
art and writing that interrupt and manipulate these structures in  
order to create the "ruptures" that Marc called for last week in  
relation to the net: "We can ride it but not respect it, challenging  
its behaviour and the culture which blindly supports it - all the way.  
We can create ruptures in netopticon!"

One of the things I have been thinking a lot about in relation to  
these ruptures is the potential for doing so from within the network  
of all networks - the Internet; and specifically from within the very  
popular social media networks (facebook, twitter, etc.). Instead of  
creating distinct online platforms like net.art artists did, can  
today's artists effectively utilize the space of the Internet in order  
to be reflexive and critical of the media? Yes, there are artists  
making work about and within Facebook (including myself) but can this  
form of resistance/reflexivity survive without incorporating a  
didactic element? Is it bad if it does become pedagogical in some way?  
Is it still art then?

In what ways can we utilize the space of the Internet to extend beyond  
the physical, social and economic constraints of the art gallery  
system? more specifically, how can relational and social art practices  
be developed further through the Internet? and, how might we utilize  
the netopticon in this pursuit?

For example, here are some examples that work from within the blog  
format (please share more):
and my own:

I've already touched on several questions that are the base of what I  
hope to investigate with you over this next week as we get into issues  
of identity. I think I will wait to introduce specific discussions I  
have separated into themes 1) the networked self (being reflexive with/ 
in the netopticon), and 2) networking art + postmedia (challenging the  
netopticon through art and learning)


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