Art as Digital Counterpractice

CTheory Journal
Cameron Bishop
Luci Pangrazio
Theorizing 21c
Edited by
Arthur Kroker
Marilouise Kroker

Digital technologies are pervasive and ubiquitous. Not only are mobile technologies on the rise, but so too are computing and social software which are embedded in objects, space and all manner of social interactions. Adam Greenfield uses the umbrella term “everyware” to describe the paradigmatic shift toward technologies that are pervasive, ubiquitous, sentient, tangible and wearable.[1] These technologies are invested with some decision-making capacity in order to facilitate the completion of everyday tasks. It is through the rhetoric of efficiency and empowerment that these technologies are constructed in the popular imagination. At the same time, the software that now underwrites social and cultural processes and the semiautomated technologies that code space are so effectively woven into everyday life that they are disappearing from view.[2] As such, we only become conscious of digital technologies when they are not working. While a seamless interface might improve functionality, it also makes the critical questions associated with the digital harder to address. How can the impact of digital technologies be assessed if they cannot be seen or sensed?

[1] Adam Greenfield, Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, (Berkeley: New Riders, 2006). [2] Lev Manovich, Software Takes Command, (New York & London: Bloomsbury, 2013); Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge, Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011).