Publication Date: 2010

Available for Purchase from Lulu Press

Digital version coming soon on iBooks


The work presented in this book examines aspects of the larger theme of the rapid introduction of technology into mainstream culture and the media. Specifically, I examine and deconstruct the social effect of networking and communications systems, particularly the rules and protocols they exhibit to bring about these relationships and the integration of networks into the greater population within the last 15 to 20 years. I accomplish this by presenting several projects I have created that provoke and challenge these systems in such a way as to point toward vulnerabilities in these methods of interaction and to propose alternative forms in which they could be manifested. Overall, the projects I present in this publication challenge existing methods of interaction with online systems and the social relationships they both support and perpetuate. When examining the depth of work presented in this book, my intent was to make a case that the rapid adoption of technology into mainstream western culture has begun to infringe upon our understanding of how and why these systems exist. This book begins by defining the particular contexts of this exploration into networks and networked interaction, from the experience of interacting with networks, to interactions within online communities, to ownership issues of public wireless space and finally to the importance of creating context displacements within these environments. From this point, I outline the social and technical contexts of networks, from their integration into popular culture and dispersal in public spaces.



This book examines three social examples of where networks are prevalent such as LAN parties, Wi-Fi cafes, and mobile and centralized networks. From there I detail several of my artistic projects as examples that use these different forms of networking technologies. I  then explore practical examples using several different projects I have created that examine five types of networking systems from architectures to social systems. These types of systems include fixed networks, wireless networks, mobile phone networks, ad-hoc networks, and finally mailing list structures. After this, I discuss a suite of applications I developed called “Desktop Subversibles” that take into account social software systems that are evident specifically in the desktop computing environment. These include software such as instant messenger clients and other forms of desktop networking. Finally I provide more detailed analysis of the networks and projects presented by providing an argument for the shift from “constructing” to “deconstructing” network topologies and why it is important to continue to provide challenges to these “legacy” Internet systems in order to bring about new ways of understanding and interacting with networks. The findings of this book are captured in a specific design methodology for “Deconstructing Networks” that others can build from to engage further with this topic. I also outline the Thwonk project, a future exploration that presents a novel way of thinking about email lists by challenging the rules and regulations that they adhere to and facilitate as a system that allows the public to design these structures.