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Social Media Archeology and Poetics$
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Judy Malloy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034654

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034654.001.0001

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Cultures in Cyberspace: Communications System Design as Social Sculpture

Cultures in Cyberspace: Communications System Design as Social Sculpture

(p.297) 21 Cultures in Cyberspace: Communications System Design as Social Sculpture
Social Media Archeology and Poetics

Anna Couey

The MIT Press

Cultures in Cyberspace was a temporary communications network organized by the author in 1992 to connect five culturally diverse online communities in conversation: American Indian Telecommunications/Dakota BBS (US), Arts Wire (US), ArtsNet (Australia), the WELL (US), and Usenet (international). Produced at a time of impending transformational technological change, the project provided a platform for people to participate in co-creating cyberspace, bringing their cultural backgrounds, stories and histories to the table. Cultures in Cyberspace was based on the premise that social, political and cultural meanings are made possible or not depending on who is connected to whom and the forms of communication that are supported and prioritized. The chapter discusses the art practices and socio-political context that informed the project, as well as its concept, design, implementation, and content. It includes participants' contemporary reflections on questions raised by the project.

Keywords:   Social Media - Creative Practice, Communications System Design, Social Sculpture, Community Networking - Cultural, Cultures n Cyberspace, Indian Telecommunications, Dakota BBS, Arts Wire, The WELL, Usenet

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