“Investigatory Art: Real-Time Systems and Network Culture,” demonstrates parallels between 1960s art theories and practices and more recent critical visual culture practices using digital media. The essay takes its theoretical and artistic underpinnings from Jack Burnham's essay, "Real Time Systems" (1969), Jacob Moreno's theories of sociometry, Hans Haacke's real time systems series of artworks, and Les Levine's Profit Systems One (1969). This foundation frames my interpretation of artworks since the mid-1990s by Heath Bunting, Josh On, UBERMORGEN et al, Beatrice da Costa, and Michael Mandiberg. I argue that these artists use digital ‘real-time systems’ as artistic media in ways that provide modes of relating to and interacting with information that make it concrete in ways that are particular to network cultures. Such meta-critical approaches - that use new media to interrogate new media - provide a particularly useful method to reflect on how new media tools, theories, and practices are deeply embedded in modes of knowledge production, perception, and interaction, and are thus inextricable from corresponding epistemological and ontological transformations.
The essay was recently published in NECSUS European Journal of Media Studies #2 (Tangibility). http://www.necsus-ejms.org/investigatory-art-real-time-systems-and-network-culture/