openAnalogInput(): Hybrid spaces, Self-making and Power in the Internet of Things
This study investigated how the emergence of the Internet of Things and the embeddedness of sensors and networked connectivity into things, physical spaces and biological bodies; rearticulates embodied spaces, and devises practices of self-making and forms of power in the governance of the self and society. In this dissertation I adopt a materialist framework that reconciles perspectives in the fields of Digital Humanities and Critical and Cultural studies to discuss media technologies and networks as a procedural material articulation of discourses, social practices, and actions. I began this investigation through auto ethnographies to produce accounts of my use of self-tracking technologies. Then, I conducted a case study of the Quantified Self movement, which is a community of “self-trackers” that mostly uses sensors and wearable computing for self-knowledge and life-logging. Based on these initial experiences, I developed a critical making experiment titled “Truth or Dare: a Moral Mobile Compass for Ethical Living” (ToD). ToD is an interactive installation that mimics the function of a lie detector. In this installation I installed analog sensors into a microcontroller that when held by the installation participant, produce values that measure her emotional distress (similar to a typical lie detector, emotional distress is measured based on the variation of electric conductivity). The values are relayed to an app on a smartphone that interfaces with Twitter. As the participant tweets, the app measures how her values fall on the scale of distress. If the value exceeds the baseline for normalcy, the app tags the tweet with #lie. ToD produces an ironic and critical approach to the adoption of biometric and computational parameters for the construction of truth and reveals a wide range of symbolic negotiations that shape the construction of mediated subjectivities.
The Materiality of the Dispositif in Net Art Experiences
This study investigated the relationship between the materiality of code, the graphic interface, and the concept of aesthetic experience in software art projects. The study is comprised of case studies of two software art projects: Alexei Shulgin’s Form Art Competition and Dyske Suematsu’s Net Abstraction. I implement a visual content analysis to explore the ways in which the graphic interfaces of these projects are subverted from their functional purposes to privilege an aesthetics that reveals the syntax of their informational architecture. The aesthetics experiences that emerge from these projects rely on the material and structural aspects of computational code and networked sites. In this sense, I argue for a notion of aesthetics experience that is informational and digital in its core, as it is realized through contingent, discrete, procedural actions between artists, interfaces and interactors.
?option=process(): Interactivity in Net Art Projects
This is an undergraduate multimodal thesis co-written with Maria Teresa Tavares that explored the poetics of interactivity in net art projects in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. The theoretical framework of the thesis is composed of three essays, each built upon one of three concepts: network, mediation, and process. These concepts work as rhizomatic points of access to discuss issues of digital networks, media arts, and legitimization of net art as an institutionalized art practice. This study also produced a series of net art projects that pushed the limit of interactivity (from mechanical, pre-programmed reactions in a system to interventionist actions and remixing), and questioned notions of authorship and of art as a finished, self-contained object of exhibition.