“The blockchain’s comprehensive ability to allocate each piece of code within its system could completely eliminate the possibility of copying a song, for example, because who has which digital copy when would be traceable. A digital magazine based on the blockchain system would have unique copies, just like a printed magazine. It could be bought and sold like a physical object.” -Hannes Grassegger, “My Wet and Wild Bitcoin Weekend On Richard Branson’s Island Refuge”, Motherboard/VICE
The concept of a solution by emulation is not exclusive to born-digital artefacts, it is epiphenomenal to an overall struggle on a level of ordering, selection and preservation due to the velocities at which cultural artefacts are made necessary to enter the processes of institutionalization/commodification. Two approaches trying to cope with this phenomenon in itself are the Whitney replication committee (as sub-committee within the Conservation department) and the V&A’s Rapid Response Collecting strategy.
RQ: How can artefactual mapping critically investigate contemporary concepts of digital subjectivity?
I. Introduction & Contextualization
- Quote from Aleida Assmann about living unhistorically, propose this as mode of living, contextualize this with research relating to social media (emotional contagion) showing that this is a material issue
- background as a designer and coder: my belief that the constituting processes of digital activity are inherently important and too often hid following UX-rationalizing
II. Literature Review
- Periodizing Hypotheses: Ever since Jameson’s original periodizing hypothesis of postmodernism, there have been numerous more such as presentism, extreme present, postcapitalism, post-postmodernity with accompanying concepts of the sublime. Showcase these periodizing hypotheses and bracket with Jameson’s concepts of 1984/2015
- Paradoxical Demands: Historicity and Digital Artefacts, discussing the problematic treatment of digital cultural artefacts through continuous and persistent emulation (≈ that it actually weakens any historicity that could be ascribed to them and suggests autonomy of the digital realm), and highlight how the V&A’s RRC (see below) strategy differs
- Research Impulse: if this ahistoricity is still the dominant cultural logic (no matter if we call it postmodernity or not), this would necessitate methods employed in cultural studies and museology that respect and acknowledge both this and the material effects of the digital sphere and our actions in it. Accordingly, if we were to render the processes of digital activity as material maps and contextualize them as artefacts themselves, can the suggested future historicity elicit statements on our own historic situation?
- Discursive Materialism, for multiple reasons above I hope: also discuss briefly why not to go for Digital Materialism (concepts of historicity is part of a discourse that is not entirely governed in or transposed to the digital sphere)
- The chosen methodology suggests an inextricable onto-epistomology; as it posits a theoretical autonomy of discourse from the being of the world while simultaneously acknowledging its interaction and place within it. Talking about things and the way we do it changes our relations to them and in turn the discourse, re:Althusser
- A Experimental Prototyping of a browser extension that allows users to employ RRC as a strategy, mapping digital processes and elements
- B Harris Matrix and like mapping procedures, ref.: Jameson’s aesthetics of cognitive mapping (!)
- C Creative Interpretative Practice to further render these processes material
- As far as Method A is concerned, there are methods in place in Google Chrome extension programming that eliminate privacy concerns
- All according data that might be used would have to be submitted consciously and actively, consent via modified UoB consent form.
IV. Data Analysis
- Observation/Documenting: Focus Groups in various constitutions (students of cultural studies, museology, aesthetics, critical theory | other participants) confronted with various constitutions and contextualizations of produced material (object elicitation?), reflexivity re:timeline
- Workshops (?)
- Assess Inductive Potential
- Artefactual Mapping as Method?
- Blog, Paper, Exhibition (?)
- […] working on it, overlaps everywhere probably.
- £100-150: Stereolithic Prints
- £50+: Material for Focus Groups/Workshops
VIII. Bibliography & Figures
- Academic Props