antisocial notworking talk

Talk by Geoff Cox, for Web Studies, as part of After the Net.


Antisocial Notworking refers to a repository of projects that explore the pseudo-agency of online social platforms. The paper takes a number of recent software projects as its inspiration to reflect upon the fashion for “participation” within the arts sector and culture in general. The concern is how the Internet is increasingly characterized as a “platform” (or collective machine) for “social” uses, but to question what is meant by such descriptions. Although social networking platforms rely on user-generated content, what is the nature of this participation? What alternatives can be identified? Emergent forms are undoubtedly dissimilar to the ways in which social relations have been traditionally organized, but in general, appear to reinforce existing power structures. The suggestion of the paper is that without the identification of antagonisms that underpin sociality, politics simply cannot be engaged.