Curating The Eternal Network After Globalisation

  • Roderick Dundas Hunter

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This practice-based research project investigates the production, distribution and reception of network art practice before and after globalisation. It does so to engage with the Internet as ‘the most material and visible sign of globalisation’ (Manovich 2001) whose emergence as the pre-eminent network technology arrives concurrently with the disappearance of its utopian promise. Taking Robert Filliou’s 1968 conception of The Eternal Network as a starting point, the research seeks to understand the opportunities and limitations of network art practice through identifying and developing a range of curatorial and artistic methods in practice. Methodologically, it presents the researcher as an artist-curator-performer. Doing so enables ‘inhabitation’ (rather than 're-enactment') of the concepts and principles of Filliou’s work. Filliou thus becomes a medium of research for the development of network art practice after the Net and vice versa. Curating only the second edition of The Art-of-Peace Biennale becomes the primary output of the research. Filliou conceived of the Biennale in 1970, proposed it in 1982 and René Block organised the first edition at the Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany, in 1985. The contemporary edition, The Next Art-of-Peace Biennale 2015-17, occurred mainly but not exclusively through the online platform, It did so to respond to the radical shift in modes of online production, distribution and reception since the first edition. The research describes, contextualises and reflects on the emergence of The Next Art-of-Peace Biennale 2015-2017 and describes a final exhibition, What is Peace? (Answer Here), held in 2018. It presents a contribution to knowledge through artistic and curatorial practice exploring online and offline exhibition-making, video, performance, correspondence art and writing. Through developing an ontology of ‘curatorial behaviour’ exploring the ‘locations’, ‘durations’, ‘materialities’ and ‘interactions’ of network art practice, the research identifies artistic and curatorial principles able to withstand the ‘high-tech gloom’ (Thompson 2011, p. 49) of mendacious globalisation in a late Web 2.0, postmedium condition.
    Date of Award2019
    Original languageEnglish
    SponsorsUniversity of Cumbria, Middlesex University & York St John University
    SupervisorSarah Cook (Supervisor) & Anna Notaro (Supervisor)


    • art
    • network
    • online
    • Filliou
    • curatorial
    • Biennale
    • performance
    • new media
    • globalisation
    • globalism

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