Essay Proposal

 ”NetWork : the Ultimate Mask “ Between 0 and 1, find the Uncanny Space of the Network

As a creator, I am looking to understand the narratives sourced by new technologies and the internet of things. In my process of exploring ubiquitous computing, I found many similarities with the world of masks and puppets.

Networks and masks share the ability to function as a frame, a mirror, a mediator, a catalyst or a transformer , masks have the power to reveal or hide and characterise the user, so does the network. The puppet is “a figure which, in almost all cultures, has embodied questions on the origin of life and death, on the relation between the visible and the invisible, and the relation between the spirit and the matter.“ . Similarly, the network calls us to explore the limits,  between the edges of the real / visible and the virtual / invisible, it raised the questions of the connections between our body / matter and our brain / spirit. Virtual Reality introduces a realm where the ability to act is transferred from the body in flesh to digital bodies in multiple locations. Our physical body remains at the border and feeds data through the network gate to our virtual selves.  In the same manner, the puppeteer acts through its puppets. Through the strings, the puppeteer has transferred its physicality, its animality, so it is the marionette who is more alive than the human : “There is only one actor – nay one man who has the soul of the dramatic poet, and who has ever served as the true and loyal interpreter of the poet,” and “this is the marionette.” (Edward Gordon Craig).

Research questions. What are you researching?

Like shadow screens or masks create a explorative field between the audience and the puppeteers, the Network has the power to challenge our digital and analog perception by and through it by setting an alternative realm , an uncanny space, between observers and users. As a researcher, I am exploring this space “lying between nodes and paranodes” full of data waiting to be erased or selected , to be transferred or transformed by algorithms.   

Bringing up the shadows , power up the masks, pull the strings, act the code, reveal the data.  In the Network field, humans and machines play hide and seek with lights and objects ( the artifacts) to choose to reveal or hide (the data).