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Mail art: networking without technology

Gangadharan, Seeta Peña ORCID: 0000-0002-1955-3874 (2009) Mail art: networking without technology. New Media & Society, 11 (1-2). pp. 279-298. ISSN 1461-4448

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1461444808099581


Focusing on the mail art movement and its legacy for other forms of networked art, this article looks at how historically, culture has accompanied technological change.The mail art movement provided separate but fertile ground to explore themes of disembodiment in a networked society prior to spread of digital technology. Surfacing in the 1950s and flourishing in the 1970s, at a time when computers and the internet were still largely the domain of military and government control, mail art challenged the threat of technocracy by making available metaphors and the experience of networking. Its goal of social connection inspired other networked arts, which eventually found a place among digital technology users. An unlikely but productive clash between artists and early users aided, validated and expanded the network ethos of early online social groups or 'virtual communities'. This investigation shows how art clears the ground for social practices that technology instantiates.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2016 10:19
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:00

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