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Mapping Contemporary Asian Art

In a chapter entitled How Computer Networks Became

Social, Sydney media theorist Chris Chesher maps out the
historical development of computer networks, from
sociometry and social network analysisan offline
science (and a field of study that goes back to the 1930s)
that examines the dynamics of human networksto
Granowetters theory of the strengths of weak links in
1973, to Castellss The Network Society in 1996, to the
current mapping efforts of the techno-scientists that gather
under the umbrella of Actor Network Theory.1 The
conceptual leap relevant here concerns the move from
groups, lists, forums, and communities to the emphasis on
empowering loosely connected individuals in networks.
This shift happened during the neoliberal 1990s and was
facilitated by growing computing power, storage capacity,
and internet bandwidth, as well as easier interfaces on
smaller and smaller (mobile) devices. This is where we
enter the Empire of the Social. It must also be said
that the social could only become technical, and
become so successful, after the fall of the Berlin
The Ecstasy of
In a subtle way, this loss of public space occurs
contemporaneously with the loss of private
space. The one is no longer a spectacle, the
other no longer a secret. [] This opposition is
effaced in a sort of obscenity where the most
intimate processes of our lfie become the virtual
feeding ground of the media. (p.130)
We live in the ecstasy of communication. And this
ecstasy is obscene. The obscene is what does away
with every mirror, every look, every image. The
obscene puts an end to every representation []
today there is a whole pornography of information
and communication, that is to say, of circuits and
According tonetworks.
at some point the social lost its historical
role and imploded into the media. If the social is no longer the once
dangerous mix of politicized proletarians, of the frustrated,
I unemployed,
no longer succeed in knowing
and dirty what
clochards I want,
that hang the
out space
on theisstreets
saturated, thethe
waiting for pressure so great from
next opportunity all who
to revolt wantwhatever
under to make banner,
themselves heard.
then how do social(p.132)
elements manifest themselves in the digital
FENG Mengbo,
Long March: Restart, 2008,
Video game instllation
(colour, sound)
FENG Mengbo,
Long March: Restart (installation view at MoMA
PS1), 2008
Video game instllation (colour, sound)
RMB CITY: A Second Life City Planning, 2007
video, 6 minutes.
Cheng Ran
Always I Trust
The dichotomizing nature of the worth of Internet Art: Should
the value of internet art be protected through exclusive
channels with restricted access reserved for the super rich, or
should internet art be accessible to anyone with an internet
connection after all, it is the world wide web.

Thoughts on the deep incompatibilities of art history and

Internet art e.g. lack of medium, eschewing beauty, being
confined to the screen.

Is the notion of the museum and cultural spaces challenged

by the organization of alternative spaces, such as the

What I make is less art "on" the Internet than it is art

"after" the Internet. It's the yield of my compulsive
surfing and downloading. I create performances, songs,
photos, texts, or installations directly derived from
materials on the Internet or my activity there.
- Maria Olsen
Post-Internet is defined as a result of the contemporary
inherently informed by ubiquitous authorship, the
development of attention as currency, the collapse of
space in networked culture, and the infinite
reproducibility and mutability of digital materials. Post-
Internet objects and images are
developed with concern to their particular materiality as
well as their vast variety of methods of presentation
It is important to also note that being Post-Internet is
a distinction which carries ramifications beyond the art
context as a societal condition at large, and that it