March 4, 2014, by Tom Harding

CCT Visiting Speaker Series: Dr Olga Goriunova

The Ragged Manifold of the Subject: Databaseness and the Generic in Curating YouTube.

Wednesday March 19th, 16:30, A39 Sir Clive Granger Building.


Digital cultural production oscillates between singular instances and massive scale occurrences, the individual and the collective, unique and generic, where such tensions are constitutive, as paradoxes, of modes of production and operation of subjectivity today. These tensions are exemplified in art work, and are sustained by computational machines, some of which are database management systems. Generic here relates to measurement, seriality, similarity, and relationality, where the operation of relating itself contributes to the new articulations of the singular and multiple. This talk discusses such relationality in computational cultural forms. The position of the subject that Kittler claimed to be occupied by the Turing machine, is in fact constructed in more complex ways, by computational ensembles that contribute to the maintenance of the subject, rather than replacing it completely. The subject is produced not through an exercise in writing but through the relationality of data which, in the example of an art project, such as Curating YouTube, handles singularities and establishes relations between them as a multiple or as a ragged manifold. It is somewhere in this computational maintenance of the operationalised singular and multiple and the movement between them that the new kind of subject arises. I explore the generic, a number of art projects on YouTube and curatorial tools, and NoSQL databases to arrive at an understanding of the new forms of multiplicity and relationality that cut to the core of the changing conditions of possibility of the subject.


Olga Goriunova is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick. She is the author of Art Platforms: Cultural Production on the Internet (Routledge, 2012), the editor of Fun and Software (Bloomsbury, forthcoming) and has several projects exploring different aspects of her varied research interests in critical cultural theory, digital media, software and digital art.

Please note the slightly earlier start time of this lecture. All welcome.

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