The Art of Networks and Networks as Art

QR Postcard

A performance/presentation @ Networks, 12th Annual Subtle Technologies Festival, Sunday June 14th, 2009, 10:00am.

Presentation as performance

The Art of Networks and Networks as Art is the title of a performance/presentation given at the 12th Annual Subtle Technologies Festival on the theme of Networks. The performance/presentation focused on the development of my work over the last five years and the role of networks within artistic practice. This was detailed in its most obvious sense of works ‘online’ but also explored ideas of interactive models within new media as networks in themselves between artist, artwork and user (see diagram below).

Artist - Art - User

Audience members who attended were invited to connect to materials used during the performance/presentation to position them as participants or users of a format, a paper delivered at a conference, which is generally passive in nature.

The audience were each given postcards with Datamatrix codes (specifically QR Codes) and short instructions on how to begin (see image top). These linked them to a webpage to download a 2D Code Reader. QR Codes were displayed on screen throughout the performance / presentation within slides which were online and accessible. The audience could view and interact with the performance / presentation in a variety of ways:

  • simply watch the presentation;
  • connect its contents with online media by photographing it though the 2D Code Reader on their web-enabled mobile phone with built-in camera;
  • or view all of the materials on the artists site and on Google Docs.

The intention was to not alone present works which focus on ideas of the network, connecting, augmenting, being distributed and multiple but to emphasise these ideas through the presentation format.

Performance/presentation materials

Below are all slides used in the performance / presentation (Note: links in the slides are clickable).


Ascott, R. (2003). The Construction of Change. In E. A. Shanken (Ed.), Telematic Embrace Visionary Theories of Art, Technology, and Consciousness, Ch. 1, pp 97-107. Berkeley and Los Angelus: University of California Press.

Baran, P. (1964). On Distributed Communications, 1. Introduction to Distributed Communications Networks [online]. Available from: [Accessed 07/06/09].

Bookchin, N. Shulgin, A. (1994-1999). Introduction to (1994 – 1999), [online]. Available from: [Accessed 01/06/09].

MTAA. (1997). Simple Net Art Diagram [online]. Available from: [Accessed 01/06/09].

Rafaeli, S. (1988). Interactivity: From new media to communication. In R. P. Hawkins, J. M. Wiemann, & S. Pingree (Eds.), Sage Annual Review of Communication Research: Advancing Communication Science: Merging Mass and Interpersonal Processes, Ch. 16, pp110-134. Beverly Hills: Sage. Available from: [Accessed 01/06/09].

Shannon, C.E. (1948). A Mathematical Theory of Communication, [online]. Available from: [Accessed 01/06/09].

Shulgin, A. (1997). Net.Art – the origin, Nettime, [online]. Available from: [Accessed 01/06/09].


Briggs, K. (2004). Etymology of the words network, net, and work [online]. Available from: [Accessed 01/06/09].

Kirsh, D. (1997). Interactivity and MultiMedia Interfaces [online]. Available from: [Accessed 01/06/09].

Symes, B. (1995). Marshall McLuhan’s ‘Global Village’ [online]. Available from: [Accessed 01/06/09].

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