Accepted Paper:

The design as a ideology: social network site as structure users' self and community  


Piotr Cichocki (University of Warsaw)

Paper short abstract:

Producers of polish network site “grono” supplied within it the set of ideological, economical and political notions, some of them on structural, invisible level, other negotiable. Everyday virtual practices of users were critical interpretation of them, however determined by the aestethics and technology.

Paper long abstract:

Social network sites enable their users to work on interactive visual representations (closed to the notion of “identity” understood after Taylor) and mediated relations with others. The first of those inseparable two (Strathern) is embodied by profiles of individuals, the second by many forms of virtual exchanges, dialogues, conflicts or cooperations (like commentaries, groups, “likes” and events).

All of those elements are varied between different particular network sites and are written in particular programme languages, forming its functional and aethetic architecture. Usage of hypertext in any virtual infrastructure internauts explore forms (Adoro, Benjamin) and spaces initiated by IT specialists, managers, designers, marketers and other (human) actors, by whom the structure is created, maintained and fit up with institutional, social and economical aims.

Basing on virtual/actual fieldwork conducted among users of polish internet social network site and employees (plus employers) of the small corporation maintaing the site, I analyze how the techno-economical project is “embodied” by users and their practices on identity / community. The changing policy of corporation that forms the active structure can be accepted by users, sometimes dominate over them, other times is rejected. In between the technology becomes fickle and demanding for both (human) sides of this network (Latour). Those three realms – everyday practices of users, the technology itself and its features, the practices of producers – are both contradicted and concurrent. It is also produced in wider polish and international ideological and aesthetical contexts of digitalisation, development, neoliberalism and acces to internet as economical and political project (Miller).

Panel P070
Collaborative revolutions: tracing the variety of responses to current art practices, objects and images