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Never Alone, Except for Now By Kris Cohen

Never Alone, Except for Now by Kris Cohen

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Juxtaposing contemporary art against familiar features of the Web such as emoticons, Kris Cohen explores how one can be connected to people and places online while simultaneously being alone and isolated. This phenomenon lies in the space between populations built through data collection, and publics created by interacting with others.

Never Alone, Except for Now Summary

Never Alone, Except for Now: Art, Networks, Populations by Kris Cohen

How is it that one can be connected to a vast worldwide network of other people and places via digital technologies and yet also be completely alone? Kris Cohen tackles this philosophical question in Never Alone, Except for Now by exploring how contemporary technologies are changing group formations and affiliations within social life. He identifies a new form of collectivity that exists between publics, which are built through conscious acts, and populations, which are automatically constructed through the collection of Big Data. Finding traditional liberal concepts of the public sphere and neoliberal ideas of populations inadequate on their own to examine these new forms of sociality, Cohen places familiar features of the web-such as emoticons, trolling, and search engines-in conversation with artworks by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, William Gibson, Sharon Hayes, and Thomson & Craighead to more precisely articulate the affective and aesthetic experiences of living between publics and populations. This liminal experience-caught between existing as a set of data points and as individuals newly empowered to create their own online communities-explains, Cohen contends, how one is simultaneously alone and connected in ways never before possible.

Never Alone, Except for Now Reviews

"Never Alone, Except for Now would make a good addition to collections at academic and museum libraries that serve patrons interested in the cultural and social machinations of the internet as they relate to critical theory and contemporary art." -- Linden How * ARLIS/NA Reviews *

"Never Alone, Except for Now [is] an essential contribution to our evolving cultural study of who we are and what, in the tightening embrace of computational superintelligence, we will come to be."

-- Steven Henry Madoff * Critical Inquiry *

About Kris Cohen

Kris Cohen is Assistant Professor of Art and Humanities at Reed College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
1. Group Form 15
2. Between Populations and Publics 29
3. Broken Genres 41
4. Toneless 79
5. Search Engine Subjectivities 105
Appendix 135
Notes 139
Selected Bibliography 179
Index 189

Additional information

Never Alone, Except for Now: Art, Networks, Populations by Kris Cohen
Duke University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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