Artwork as Network: A Reconceptualization of the Work of Art and its Exhibition. As it reshapes the world we inhabit, the concept of the network has emerged as the dominant cultural paradigm across numerous fields and disciplines. Whether biological, social, political, global, communicational, or computational, networks are constituted by a decentered, distributed, multiplicitous, nonlinear system of nodes, plateaus, and edges that are endlessly interconnected and interdependent.
Networks prioritize relationships between things over the things themselves, suggesting a reconfiguring of binary elements including: digital/tactile, virtual/material, private/public, and past/present. As networks rapidly change our world, it is logical to assume that contemporary artistic practices are impacted as well. In fact, works of art are uniquely situated to discover and reveal new ways of understanding social and cultural phenomena including that of the network.
Several questions arise: How do contemporary works of art relate to network culture? Alternately, how do networks redefine our understanding of specific works of art? How, in turn, are these works expanding our understanding of the network?