Discussion of “Art in the Age of Dataflow”

In “Art in the Age of Dataflow”, Lichy gave us an all-around introduction of non-linear structure of text which based on the internet dataflow technology. Including the precedents theory research and their constructive assumption that linear narrative changes to non-linear narrative. Lichy used mathematical methods to creating visual metaphors of scalar, vector, and flow. Scalar represents the narratives in spatial form, Vector is the transmission of the narrative through a medium, and Flow is the concept that changes of information as social trends in online environment. Then Lichy quoted Joseph Frank’s research of collapse of the linear flow then discussed Closure and Indeterminacy in hypermedia literary works. Lichy also introduced memory extender and WIKI as the development of network based hypermedia. From Lichy’ conclusion, I found that new culture forms never eliminate their predecessors, however, media is updating, culture production is facing the challenge of technology.

In my opinion, networks do benefit the communication between the artists and audiences. The appreciators could watch the art work at any time and in any place as long as those art works were exhibited online, at the same time, the artists could receive people’s feedback faster and more comprehensive. Because of networks’ supportive of hypermedia, people could transmitting comprehensive forms of artworks. The most important is network created an interactive environment, the authors could be audiences and audiences could be editors, which break the boundaries between authors and audiences. The new art forms will not just exist in appreciators’ mind, they are recreated. However, I think network might also bring arts unwelcomed changes, because of high speed of information exchanging, artists will be anxious for success and ignore the quality of artworks, or once an art style be generally agreed, its creator will think it is mature and refuse to do further exploration. On the other hand, audience might satisfied with watching artwork online instead of go to galleries, so I think they lost the chance to experience the artwork by themselves, to feel the materials of artworks. Internet undermines the power of artworks trying to express.


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