chapter  27
Conjunctive and Disjunctive Networks
Affects, Technics, and Arts in the Experience of Relation
ByAnna Munster
Pages 9

As sociotechnical assemblages, networks are both singular and nonlocalized. They are constituted by standardized communicative protocols that operate across open architectures that make them available to artistic intervention, corporate takeover, and nonpartisan political ends. Yet the ways in which networks experience, as well as human experience in and of networks, must be thought in close proximity to questions of affect. For networks are not simply organizational forms or maps of contemporary life. They involve processes of joining with and disjoining from others, not to mention technical elements and their operations. This chapter takes affect, technics, and their relations as primary in the experience of online networked life and looks to the ways in which early online, artistic cultures experimented with these relations. My engagement with the critical networked culture of the late 1980s and early 1990s was formative in the development of my current approach to thinking through these relations as an “aesthesia” of networks. This concept approaches the experience of networks through technical, affective, human, and nonhuman elements. It sees the transitions and breaks in their relations as critical for an understanding of contemporary media and culture.