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Title: Mixed media : representing the digital in contemporary American culture
Author: Dinnen, Zara
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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As we continue to move through a moment of pervasive digital culture, and increasingly ubiquitous digital technology, new aesthetic paradigms emerge across the arts. This thesis explores those paradigms, representations of the digital, as they appear in contemporary American culture. Rather than reflecting on this concern through the parameters of digital texts, this thesis will develop an expanded idea of digital culture, one that includes print and analogue works that reflexively engage with the digital. The digital environments we negotiate today are culturally rooted in the US. Despite its history, the presence of digital culture as a formative aspect of contemporary American literature and art has been little explored from within the discipline of American studies. This thesis will argue that more sustained critical attention is needed to consider how the digital emerges as a subject of American culture since 2000. Beginning with a study of the status of the book in the digital age, this thesis contends with its subject through examinations of remixing in literature, and of the representation of code in visual culture, before moving on to consider themes of location and identity in networked environments. It will provide close readings of a range of texts: books by the publishers Mcsweeney's; literary works by Mark Amerika, Jennifer Egan, Robert Fitterman, Jonathan Lethem, Richard Powers, and Gary Shteyngart; the films The Social Network and Catfish; and artworks by Cory Arcangel, Eva and Franco Mattes, and Takeshi Murata. This thesis will argue that the digital is a key subject for American culture of the last fifteen years. It will consider the digital as materially, and formatively, embedded in culture. To address the complexity of this approach, this thesis will study contemporary American literature and art through the lens of digital theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available