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The art of bots: A practice-based study of the multiplicity, entanglements and figuration of sociocomputational assemblages

Plummer-Fernandez, Matthew. 2019. The art of bots: A practice-based study of the multiplicity, entanglements and figuration of sociocomputational assemblages. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines and analyses an emerging art practice known as artbots. Artbots are internet-based software applications that are imbued with character and configured to engage and entertain online audiences. This form of practice, and the community of practice leading it, was found to be underrepresented and misunderstood. I argue that this artform is original and warrants a more thorough understanding. This thesis develops a conceptual framework for understanding artbots that focuses on and enables questioning around pertinent aspects of the practice. A wide range of literature was reviewed to provide theoretical underpinnings towards this framework, including literature on algorithm studies, science and technology studies, and software architecture. The devised framework examines artbot case studies through the notions of multiplicity, entanglement, and figuration, having understood artbots as heterogenous sociocomputational assemblages comprised of software components and human intraactivity. The research followed a varied methodology that encompassed participant observation and my own practice-based experiments in producing artbots. The study resulted in several original works. In addition, a showcase titled Art of Bots brought together key proponents and artbots, further providing material that is analysed in this thesis. The study helped identify and discuss artbots with attention to how they utilise modular software components in novel arrangements, how normative human and nonhuman relations of interaction are being eschewed in favour of entangled interrelations, and how artbots challenge common narratives dictating technological constructs by inventing unique characters and figurations.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00026599

Keywords:

bots, practice-based, design, art, platforms, software, assemblage

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Design

Date:

6 June 2019

Item ID:

26599

Date Deposited:

10 Jul 2019 14:55

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2019 15:36

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26599

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