Weekly class notes and presentations

Network Cultures 2011 class

So it’s the end of a very successful module. Thanks to a great group of students who worked really hard and grappled with some interesting problems over the past eleven weeks.

The video work produced by the four groups was of a very high standard and asked (and addressed) some interesting and complex questions.

Videos and audio feedback posted below. Please send links to your videos soon! Audio feedback is posted on Soundcloud with links below. You can download your file and keep it on your hard-drive if you wish. You have to pay to do this on WordPress unfortunately.

Group 1 – Declan, Hanna Laura, Marina, Olga

Group 1 – audio feedback

Group 2 – Keira, Mary, Natalia, Rio

Group 2 – audio feedback

Group 3 – Charlotte, Jerome, Julija, Lucja

Group 3 audio feedback

Group 4 – Asean, Chris, Sam

Unfortunately the audio appeared to fail for group 4. Apologies for this. I will ensure that you get written feedback.


So last class we looked at democracy and the internet and saw how the distributed network model could enable a more progressive if not radical democracy. We also looked at how mainstream politics use the internet and how the digital divide might mean the internet is not as radical as we think.

Good debtates on Wikileaks and the growth of citizen journalism.

So we discussed moving the following few weeks around – please feel free to comment here.

Original timetable was:

  • Old Week 7 – Commerce and copyright
  • New Week 7 – The image in the age of mass digitization and distribution. I will email you all the reading for this tonight as well as put on UELPlus
  • Old Week 8 – The Dark Side
  • New Week 8 – We can either look at commerce and copyright, the changes to the music and film industries or we can continue with ‘The Dark Side’ and look at Hacktivism, Cyber war etc.
  • Old Week 9 – tutorials
  • New Week 9 – tutorials (no change)
  • Old Week 10 – The Future of the Image
  • New Week 10 – Into theory: a look at how the philosophy of Jean Baudriallard and Deleuze and Guatarri have informed scholars of the internet. I will provide reading a week in advance and some of it is already available on UELPlus.
  • Week 11 – present your video, get feedback from your peers and reflect on how you might use the theories and philosophies we have discussed in your practice or your writing.
  • Week 12 – close module. We can watch Catfish. Here’s a Guardian review of it but beware – the review has spoilers!

So here’s a link to Friday 14th’s Powerpoint which outlines a bit of what we did during the class. Week 4 presentation


We did a close reading of Lisa Nakamura’s 2000 essay Race In/For Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet.


If you missed the class have a read and a think about what Nakamura means by Racial Passing and Identity Tourism.


For Friday (just like every week) it is essential that everyone reads the weekly reading. This Friday you’ll be havng a debate so you will need to read the following:


1.  ‘A Life Digitized’ or ‘A Digital Life’ (in UEL Plus only) both articles about how Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell recorded every aspect of his life.


2. ‘Is Google Making us Stupid’ or ‘The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains’ both by Nicholas Carr


A great class on Friday – lots of food for thought and some fantastic contributions by students.

Here’s my Rise of Network Society Presentation if you need to recap on anything from week 2. It’s also in UELPlus.

After class on Friday I read an interesting article in the G2 section of the Guardian by Stuart Jeffries It’s all to do with ‘digital fakery’ and was really relevant to our discussions in class. If you want to blog about this subject try using a quote from the article.

Once your blog is up and running please send me your web address. I’ll create a page with a list of all the blogs and then we can start commenting as a network of bloggers!