Never Alone, Except for Now -

Never Alone, Except for Now

Art, Networks, Populations

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How is it that one can be connected to a vast worldwide network of other people and places via digital technologies and yet also be completely alone? Kris Cohen tackles this philosophical question in Never Alone, Except for Now by exploring how contemporary technologies are changing group formations and affiliations within social life. He identifies a new form of collectivity that exists between publics, which are built through conscious acts, and populations, which are automatically constructed through the collection of Big Data. Finding traditional liberal concepts of the public sphere and neoliberal ideas of populations inadequate on their own to examine these new forms of sociality, Cohen places familiar features of the web-such as emoticons, trolling, and search engines-in conversation with artworks by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, William Gibson, Sharon Hayes, and Thomson & Craighead to more precisely articulate the affective and aesthetic experiences of living between publics and populations. This liminal experience-caught between existing as a set of data points and as individuals newly empowered to create their own online communities-explains, Cohen contends, how one is simultaneously alone and connected in ways never before possible.

Product code: 9780822369400

ISBN 9780822369400
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H229xW152
No. Of Pages 216
Publisher Duke University Press
Juxtaposing contemporary art against familiar features of the Web such as emoticons, Kris Cohen explores how one can be connected to people and places online while simultaneously being alone and isolated. This phenomenon lies in the space between populations built through data collection, and publics created by interacting with others.