Re-making Networked Platforms: A Practice Based Exploration of Networked Retreat

Evans, Dave. 2022. Re-making Networked Platforms: A Practice Based Exploration of Networked Retreat. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This practice-based PhD situates itself within digital networks increasingly dominated by a few global platforms and considers how retreat can be used as a creative strategy to reconfigure or reimagine what networks can offer at other scales. While there are existing practices that critically examine the implications of how dominant platforms operate, few build alternatives from the ground up, as this research does. The thesis includes three case studies of retreats in which I built networks, a mountainside, a garden in a train station, and my home connected to the internet. I take a situated approach to reflecting on these networks, exploring the environments in which they are built, how they are built and what the networks carry. These reflections are extended through the looking at other artworks and the writing of others, from the historical context of retreat to contemporary writing around technology and philosophy. What emerged from the research is that both ‘the retreat’ and ‘the network’ represent relatively static concepts with embedded agendas of their own. Nevertheless, through process of building a network specific to a location, I discovered that retreat also offered the opportunity to be with other people and things in new ways. Also, when presented with the complexity of an actual site, any effort to circumscribe a network, as I built it, began to spiral out of control. As a result, retreat provided an opportunity for the digital network to become a tool for temporarily letting things in; to express the shifting material dynamics of the world, rather than enclosing them.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00031920

Keywords:

practice, retreat, networks, situated, asceticism, object oriented ontology,contemporary art, practice research

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures

Date:

31 May 2022

Item ID:

31920

Date Deposited:

17 Jun 2022 09:03

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2022 09:49

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/31920

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