Nine Keywords for the Digital Sphere

03/06/2014 09:32 BST | Updated 25/07/2014 10:59 BST


Image Credit: Zach Blas, Facial Weaponization Suite, 2013.

The space of the web might seem like an openly transparent one. User journeys are seemingly ones that we create individually, adopt and adapt, forming personal structural and spatial universes. However, as a sphere, the language around the internet and its possibilities is continually changing, sometimes these fluctuations occur gradually, at others, they are abrupt and all-consuming. Can we imagine a world without 'selfies' now? As the language around the net continues to shift, Omar Kholeif outlines some key terms for our consideration.

BEYONSENSE: is named after a translation of zaum, a hybrid word coined by early-twentieth-century Russian poets to describe non-referential and sensorial verbal expression.

CONTRA: in contrast/opposition to.

DEEP WEB: also deepnet, invisible web, or hidden web. A network of online content that exists outside of the so-called 'surface web' where users are anonymous and undetected. The deep web comprises of a matrix of undetected, encrypted, websites, and also known as TOR (The Onion Router).

HACKTIVIST: an activist who uses computers and computer networks for political activism, using technology as a mode of civil disobedience, protest, and activism.

DIGITALITY: the condition of living in a digital culture.

INFORMATIC OPACITY: a tactics of withdrawing from control by evading detection or interception from the commercial internet.

IMAGE ANARCHISM: reflects a generational indifference towards intellectual property, regarding it as a bureaucratically regularly construct (to quote, Brad Troemel).

IMAGE NEOLIBERAL: one who still believes in the owner as the steward of globally migratory artworks (to quote, David Joselit).

TECHNICAL DETERMINISM: a reductionist theory that presumes that a society's technology drives the development of its social structure and values (Wikipedia)

You can read about these terms and more in You Are Here: Art After the Internet.