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An exploration of the internet’s embodied narratives through software dial-up modems: atemporality, neutrality, immateriality


An exploration of the internet’s embodied narratives through software dial-up modems: atemporality, neutrality, immateriality

Lognonné Khalatbari, Cyrus ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6976-9289 (2021) An exploration of the internet’s embodied narratives through software dial-up modems: atemporality, neutrality, immateriality. Masters thesis, Concordia University.


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My research-creation thesis is not about the internet itself. It is about the way we frame and understand that network. It is, more specifically about its narratives: metaphors and discourses that are developed and engineered by internet stakeholders in order to reinforce their position and, ultimately, gain control of our data. Starting from the ubiquitous metaphor of the internet cloud that depicts the internet as a non-tangible and harmless object we observe from far, my thesis triangulates between three sub-discourses emerging from this narrative. These are the illusion that our internet processes are 1) atemporal, 2) neutral and 3) immaterial. As a research-creation thesis, it moreover inquires into these beliefs by engaging with a specific technology that I argue as foundational for deconstructing these narratives: the dial-up modem that was used during the early internet era to create an internet connection. Contextualising this technology inside a web of artistic, theoretical and methodological references, my thesis guides the reader through four design projects where these analog modems are used in a critical and speculative way. In opposition to the way internet processes are crafted by engineers as purely operational, optimized and seamless, these projects serve as a way to reflect on the internet’s materiality and embodied discourses. Moreover, they serve as frameworks to make explicit the temporal, political and material characteristics of the infrastructure.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Design and Computation Arts
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lognonné Khalatbari, Cyrus
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.Des.
Date:28 May 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Barr, Pippin
Keywords:internet narratives and metaphors, applied media archeology, data flow, internet cloud, critical and speculative computing.
ID Code:988821
Deposited By: Cyrus Lognonné
Deposited On:29 Nov 2021 17:01
Last Modified:29 Nov 2021 17:01
Related URLs:


Chapter 1: Artistic and theoretical context
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Chapter 2: Design and methodological framework
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Chapter 3: Case studies, future works
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