Commissioned Text


a (networked_book) about (networked_art)

Networked Book
August 2009

Supported by National Endowment for the Arts

Networked: a (networked_book) about (networked_art) has been open for revision, commentary, and translation since 2009.

After an international competition, four chapters were commissioned: “Lifetracing: The Traces of a Networked Life” by Anne Helmond; “Data Undermining: The Work of Networked Art in an Age of Imperceptibility” by Anna Munster; “Art in the Age of DataFlow: Narrative, Authorship, and Indeterminacy” by Patrick Lichty; and “The Immediated Now: Network Culture and the Poetics of Reality” by Kazys Varnelis (which was translated into Chinese by Lily & Honglei).

Six  additional chapters have since been added: “Storage in Collaborative Networked Art” by Jason Freeman; “No End In Sight: Networked Art as a Participatory Form of Storytelling” by Marco Deseriis; “The Learning Screen” by Greg Ulmer; “Remix and the Rouelles of Media Production” by Owen Gallagher, Mette Birk, Mark O’ Cúlár, Martin Leduc, Eduardo Navas, and Tara Zepell; “Re-Locating” by Yasmin Abbas; and “In Production (A Narrative Inquiry on Interactive Art”) by Nathaniel Stern.


Networked Book Flyer


“A networked book is an open book designed to be written, edited and read in a networked environment.” (Institute for the Future of the Book)

Networked Goals:

To commission five chapters and publish them online using Wiki / blog technology to enable the public to revise, update, debate and translate them

To present public forums to publicize the online book and solicit participation in its development

Networked Objectives:

To develop and publish an online, trans-disciplinary book that will address recent artistic developments made possible by computers, networks, and mobile connectivity

To present the book in an open, participatory and social form

To document:

a) the collapse of the traditional distinction between artist, art work and audience

b) the shaping of creative practice that is open, contingent and participatory

c) the building of virtual communities which, in the words of Howard Rheingold, “becomes inevitable wherever computer mediated communications technology becomes available to people anywhere.” (The Virtual Community, 1993)

We invite contributions that critically and creatively rethink how networked art is categorized, analyzed, legitimized — and by whom — as norms of authority, trust, authenticity and legitimacy evolve.

Networked proposes that a history or critique of interactive and/or participatory art must itself be interactive and/or participatory; that the technologies used to create a work suggest new forms a “text” might take.

We aim to spark a conversation between researchers and practitioners, curators, artists, and academics in the fields of art (music, sound, dance, e-lit, visual art …), architecture, convergence, mapping, urbanism, games, sociology, visualization, cultural studies, and environmental studies.

In keeping with the transdisciplinary nature of the book, authors may consider, but are by no means limited to, themes such as:

cyberspace and identity
ubiquitous computing — surveillance, politics, and privacy
avatars, wearables, bioart and embodiment
collective storytelling, audio narratives and sound art
virtual worlds, mixed realities
locative media – place, mobility, augmented reality
massively multiplayer online games – networked play
responsive architecture and relational environments
social networks
nomadism, psychogeography, and the city
tactical media – performance, agency and activism
open source and crowdsourcing
Originality, copies, remix, mashup

All papers will be reviewed by our international committee.

Each of the commissioned chapters will contain text, images, videos, and/or audio.

Commissioned chapters, as well as contributions by collaborators, will be subject to the Creative Commons License Attribution – Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0/Unported

Once the chapters are published online, registered users will be able to revise, add to, and translate the existing texts.

There is no end date for the project, however, if the possibility arises, a snap-shot-in-time may be captured for a print version of the book.


Steve Dietz – Northern Lights, MN
Martha CC Gabriel – net artist, Brazil
Geert Lovink – Institute for Network Cultures, The Netherlands
Nick Montfort – Massachusetts Institute for Technology, MA
Anne Bray – LA Freewaves, LA
Sean Dockray – Telic Arts Exchange, LA
Jo-Anne Green – NRPA, MA
Eduardo Navas – newmediaFIX
Helen Thorington – NRPA, NY

ORGANIZERS: New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (NRPA) Telic Arts Exchange newmediaFIX LA Freewaves

EDITORS/MODERATORS: Jo-Anne Green Molly Hankwitz Marco Mancuso Eduardo Navas Helen Thorington