Social body of digital connectedness


The city is lined with veins through which the livelihood of its citizens flows, networks and interacts. The streets, pavements and rails stream data and record the experience of locative existence enhanced by mobile technologies. The social body is mobile in physical and cyber time and space as people are digitally connected to the Internet together. An immersive relationship between media and users allow for an altered feeling of presence as we “exist as an abstraction” (Miller, 2011) between a physical environment and a conceptual, interactional space. “Today, as lines between the Internet and the ocean begin to blur, one may lose the feeling of a body boundary at the borderlands of material and virtual worlds” (Sutula).

Communication media acts as an extension of man, of his body and senses (McLuhan, 1967). Technology begins to determine our human consciousness and corporality in the city. Haraway (1991) argues that cyborg is in our everyday interaction with, and dependence on, the multiple cybernetic technologies that make up our personal, social, economic, political and technological selves. People and their behavior are the data that flows through the city’s veins.


The Big Bang Data exhibition reflected a moment in time wherein our everyday embodied living in the city, our movement and attitudes, form a stream of data that translate mobile connectedness into art. “Many artists today are increasingly confronted by the temptation or necessity to engage with fields typically associated with science and engineering: broadly speaking, ‘technology’. One of the compelling features of Big Bang Data is the overcoming of this traditional division between art and science, recognizing instead the inescapability of networked culture” (Jordan and Pepi, 2016). In Selfiecity, Lev Manovich investigates selfies using a mix of theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods. The selfie is explored, analysed and studied as a form of self-portraiture, part of the history of photography, as well as a development in human connectedness in the use of mobile technologies in the city. Data is visualised.




Big Bang Data Revisited [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 15 May 2016].

Haraway, D., 1991. A Cyborg Manifesto [pdf] Available at: <http://faculty.> [Accessed 15 May 2016].

Manovich, L., Selfiecity: Investigating the style of self-portraits (selfies) in five cities around the world [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 15 May 2016].

McLuhan, M., 1967. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. London: Sphere Books.

Miller, V., 2011. Key Elements of Digital Media. [pdf] Available at: <> [Accessed 17 February 2016].




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