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  • The Intersection of Digital Practice and Everyday Life

Aishman, Steven, 2019, Thesis, The Intersection of Digital Practice and Everyday Life PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

What constitutes the intersection of digital practice and everyday life? What research methods can be deployed to analyze a dynamic assemblage of heterogeneous knowledges?

Digital practices such as engaging with social media platforms, acquiring data through biofeedback monitors, or interacting with artificial intelligences are intersecting with everyday life in increasing manner and complexity. This intersection is not a stabilized set of practices with a defined boundary, but is composed of the fluid relationships between perpetually changing sets of behaviours and methods. In order to engage with such a dynamic system of relations, I have deployed a research method similarly comprised of the variable relations between many heterogeneous research methods.

My research is a Deleuzian assemblage created by contingent relationships between a set of interrelated hesitancies. These hesitancies have manifested in my research through practices that have traditionally been treated as isolated practices such as reading, writing, sleeping, coding, making robots, diagramming, drawing, speaking, and performing, to name a few.

Throughout the written component of this thesis, I have framed my research as finding resonance with various other thinkers and ideas. Deleuze and Guattari’s theories of assemblage and nomadic thinking, among others, have resonated with my research and provided a potential set of entry points with my work. I view much of my research through the lens of quantum field theory, where objects and ideas can be modeled as the relationships between superpositions of states existing in a virtual field of potentials. Various thinker’s perspectives on the occult and non-representational theory have resonated with my own research into potentially unknowable or unrepresentable knowledges. I have also found Flusser’s concepts of embodiment, universes and the technical image as potential frames for my own research.

‘Pataphysics, in particular, has offered me the opportunity for utilizing contingent research methods that are not constrained by a need to create in a manner that is devoid of contradictions, follow any form of logic, or are considered valid by any metric. In this way, ‘pataphysics allows for research methods that break from traditional research habits to create practices that adhere to their own internal logics that may or may not be accessible from outside perspectives. For example, ‘pataphysical methods have led me to make a computer program that creates a network from live Twitter data and my daily tea leaves to predict the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The intersection of everyday life and digital practice is ever changing and expanding. My thesis examines this intersection by deploying an assemblage of methods. This research finds resonance with multiple thinkers and ideas which I detail through out the written component of this thesis.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Other > Technologies > J900 Others in Technology
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W280 Interactive and Electronic Design
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W290 Design studies not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2019 15:03
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2019 15:30
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4188
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