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Networked Cultures: Politics of Connectivity

Peter Mörtenböck
Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College

Helge Mooshammer
Institute of Art and Design, Vienna University of Technology

Against the background of global structural transformation, networks have become one of the most prominent concepts relating to the search for new forms of social cohesion and solidarity. The question as to what forms such connectivity should take is not only theoretical in nature but above all a question that points to the self-induced multiplicity of spaces that is continually generated by connectivities throughout the world. Networks both structure and constitute an operational field for these proliferating global entanglements of people, places and interests. They become incorporated in space in different ways: in the form of translocal zones of action, community support structures, expanded spheres of influence, spatial superimpositions and intensive contacts and contaminations.

The engagement with these developments on the part of art and architecture in recent years has resulted in a new form of praxis founded on collective production, process-guided work and transversal project platforms. Such a 'disciplineless' praxis of unsolicited intervention in spatial contexts renders legible the dysfunctional rules of planned spatial and cultural containment and creates an avenue for generating new forms of circulation amidst the political efforts to conceal this failure. It makes use of existing networks, expands and changes them, gives rise to new circuits and thereby sketches a mobile geography of self-determined utilisations of space and culture. Through practical and theoretical work involved in the parameters of networked art production, this session interrogates the meanings of this politico-aesthetic landscape together with the meanings of artistic, architectural and cultural engagement in these dynamics.