New Network Theory : Amsterdam, June 28 - 30 2007
New Network Theory has been blogged by the UvA Masters of Media at http://mastersofmedia.hum.uva.nl/
Introduction : Rethinking Network Theory
The object of study has shifted from the virtual community and the space of flows to the smart mob. When the object of study changes, so may the distinctions that dominate, particularly the schism between place-based space and place-less space, both organised and given life by networks. We would like to exploit the potential of writing contemporary network theory that suits and reflects the changes to the objects of study that come to define our understandings of network culture – a post-Castellsian network theory, if you will, that takes technical media seriously.
It is time to look for elements that can make up a network theory outside of post-modern cultural studies (which marvelled at the place-less place) and ethnographic social sciences (which reminded us of the ground). What network culture studies needs is a ‘language of new media,’ perhaps even signage, to speak in terms of Lev Manovich; what it currently has is a science-centered ‘unified network theory,’ to paraphrase the language of Albert-László Barabási.