[iDC] Internet as Playground and Factory

Christiane_Paul at whitney.org Christiane_Paul at whitney.org
Wed Oct 7 21:28:17 UTC 2009

Hello everyone,
I just want to briefly introduce my self and the subject of my presentation at the "Internet as Playground and Factory" conference.
Looking forward to our discussions,

Free labor, collective intelligence, and artistic production

In the digitally networked information economy, information feeds into the production process of commodities, provides the basis for the control of the market, and is materialized and sold as a commodity. Information systems and communications networks produce "immaterial commodities" consisting of informational or cultural content. Free labor--building Web sites and virtual spaces, modifying software packages, contributing to Web 2.0 platforms--has become an important element of the digital economy, voluntarily given and unwaged, enjoyed and exploited. While digital communication networks have enabled unprecedented forms of collective agency and activism, the inherent structure of economies, industries, and institutions in which digital technologies are embedded can work against the idealistic belief in grass-roots change and activism that is driven bottom-up rather than top-down. Art in the networked commons cannot avoid addressing the larger context of the sustainability of cultural production in information societies. Using networked art projects as examples, the presentation will outline relationships between free labor, collective intelligence, and artistic production.

Christiane Paul is the Director of the Media Studies Graduate Programs and Associate Prof. of Media Studies at The New School, NY, and Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has written extensively on new media arts and lectured internationally on art and technology. An expanded new edition of her book Digital Art (Thames& Hudson, UK, 2003) came out in spring 2008 and her edited anthology New Media in the White Cube and Beyond - Curatorial Models for Digital Art was published by UC Press in December 2008. She is responsible for artport, the Whitney Museum’s online portal to Internet art, and has curated several exhibitions for the museum. Other recent curatorial work includes "Feedforward - The Angel of History" (co-curated with Steve Dietz; Laboral Art Center, Gijon, Spain, Oct. 2009) and INDAF Digital Art Festival (Incheon, Korea, Aug. 2009).
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