Art After the Internet: Contemporary Art & Digital Culture 1989-today - HOA00052H

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Cadence Kinsey
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

In this module we will explore the relationships between art and the Internet, from the birth of the World Wide Web in 1989 to the present day

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20 to Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

In this module we will explore the relationships between art and the Internet, from the birth of the World Wide Web in 1989 to the present day. Beginning with an analysis of the construction of the digital as fundamentally ‘immaterial’, together we will think about how and why this gave rise to a model of the Web as a utopian arena of promise. In the first half of the course we will survey some of the earliest artistic practices to engage with the Web – including Net.Art, Tactical Media and Cyberfeminism – and consider both their aims and limitations in addressing questions of representation and identity, witnessing and surveillance, and authorship. In the second half we will focus primarily on the emergence of so-called ‘post-Internet Art’ in the last decade, and the shift to re-thinking the digital as ‘material’ through an attention to embodiment, infrastructure, and the environmental effects of new technology. This course will draw on a wide range of theoretical debates, from the discourses of postmodernism to the recent theories of the Anthropocene.   

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should have acquired:

  • a familiarity with critical debates pertaining to digital technologies with an emphasis on cultural and artistic formations
  • an understanding of key terms drawn from social semiotics, media studies, digital anthropology, visual culture, network theory and design philosophy
  • a knowledge of the limits and the possibilities afforded by emergent technologies for both the preservation and creation of cultural products and emergent forms of social and political disobedience
  • a critical framework for examining the re-organization of social relations and artistic practices practices in an expanding digital media environment

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Open Examination (3 day)
Art After the Internet: Contemporary Art & Digital Culture 1989-today
N/A 90
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Seminar Performance
N/A 10

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

When this module is taught in the autumn term assessment will take place in Week 1 of the spring term.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Open Examination (3 day)
Art After the Internet: Contemporary Art & Digital Culture 1989-today
N/A 90

Module feedback

Students will receive feedback on their assessed formative work within one week.

Students will receive feedback on their assessed summative work within 20 working days.

Indicative reading

  • Claire Bishop, “Digital Divide” Artforum, September, 2012
  • Lauren Cornell and Brian Droitcour, “Technical Difficulties” Artforum, January, 2013
  • Hito Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image” e-flux journal #10, 2009
  • Boris Groys, "Art Workers: Between Utopia and the Archive" e-flux journal #45, 2013
  • David Joselit, After Art, Princeton University Press, 2012



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.