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Title: Noodle, Noodle, Cat : extra-subjective agency in Web-based art practice
Author: Webb, Charlotte
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 323X
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2017
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This research investigates the complexities of artistic authorship under the production conditions of the web. It is driven by a fascination with the possibilities of expanding the authorial sphere of the artwork to include the productive capacities of other subjectivities, entities and processes. I offer the neologism ‘extra-subjectivity’ to reflect on this emerging form of production, in which the ultimate manifestation of the artwork often exceeds the author’s intentions. As well as the written thesis, it comprises seven artworks that represent a distinctive approach characterized by playfulness, humour and the use of generative computational processes. Several early works explore my authorial agency in relation to algorithmically generated variations of texts, including William Blake’s poem The Fly and the song Puff the Magic Dragon. Later, algorithmic generation is combined with the appropriation of content shared on social media, as in Infinite Violets, which displays variations of a Shakespearean verse along with images from Flickr. I draw on digital sociological methods to create a hybrid approach in which the web is understood as an evolving medium made up of digital objects and devices that can be repurposed for art practice. This approach underpins 'Flickr Nude or Noodle Descending a Staircase', which uses images programmatically accessed through Flickr’s application programming interface to remake a Marcel Duchamp painting for the web. 'Selfie Portrait' displays Instagram photographs tagged with ‘Selfie’ alongside users’ biographical information, which drives the ‘Copyright Episode’, an extended account of the legal contexts surrounding web-based art practices. Here, I demonstrate how such practices are entangled socially, ethically and legally with the distinct production conditions of the web. I argue that authorship is a question of responsibility as well as ‘ownership’, which is why ethics are as important as the law.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Technologies not elsewhere classified ; Sociology of Science and Technology ; Publishing via the World Wide Web