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The information flow within a network society inherits the speed and elasticity of capitalism. Be it smartphone, TV, or computer, all are integrated onto the showcase medium that takes the Internet as the operation platform, while innovative technological entities integrate the information content and material interface of browsing. Under such circumstances, the convergence of multiple technologies along the processes from producing to watching images is being influenced by the numerous mediators and participants and vice versa, which further gives birth to the dynamic order as a whole. Yet, the spread of network technology shares similarities of that of an artificial neural network, substantially changing our manipulation of experience, power, history and the process of cultural production as well as the outcomes. The organizational concepts and forms based on fixed space, time, place, and state are utterly shattered, whereas the orientation it displays takes the “flowing” power as the first priority, which not only accelerates the evolution of capitalism and changes the nature of capital market, but also renews itself at a swift speed, producing a real-time global action.
The open structure of a network society possesses an attribute of extending beyond space and time. Hence, a “User”, disregard the direction he/she approaches from, is an open terminal, whatsoever. As long as the same communication codes are flowing and consumed on the Internet, they could be integrated into the new nodes, exploring the unknown network. In the meantime, the real identity of a User in the Internet Protocol is an “address” defined by a series of digital codes. Therefore, a User is not necessary a human being. It can be a machine as well. Networking brings about the qualitative changes to the production, utilization, and meaning construction of messages by the Users on the Internet. The key not only lies in how a text narrative is produced, but in the complicated relationship between the cloud database and message texts. Such process of conversion is the very image attribute the video art biennial this year aims to focus. It produces encyclopedia-like image texts among the co-opetition in between cloud database and narratives. What it manifests on the real-virtual image border is Users’ re-coding and understanding of life experiences as well as how to derive the dynamic relationships among the various networks in the human society with experience and knowledge in the network society consists of cloud, machines, and user groups. Under this framework, the material payload within images no longer plays the instrumental role in the conventional video art context. Instead, it is a springboard that reflects upon the network society as well as one of the segments of the artists’ creation and actions in “Offline Browser”.
“Offline Browser” stresses not the functional interpretation of online and offline on the Internet, nor does it pose us a binary question whether to leave or to stay. What It attempts to discuss, however, is that when we are using the platform constructed by the Internet, how we should contemplate the structural relationship between individual production and network under the user identity as producer/user/consumer, and convert the perspective of technical tool in the network society into a perspective of medium, infiltrating data via the reverse production of information and eventually affecting the material basis of algorithm. The key underneath is that networking technology is not unilaterally determined by the society, but more by the network worldview fabricated by the participations of users within. Thus, how to comprehend and not be held by the power of this technology is the very strategy Offline Browser deliberates.