Networked public spaces
: an investigation into virtual embodiment

  • Victoria Vesna

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Networked Public Spaces: An Investigation into Virtual Embodiment is an exploration of issues surrounding networked public spaces in relation to three artworks created by the author between 1995 to 2000: Virtual Concrete, (1995); BodiesĀ© Incorporated (1996-2000); and Datamining Bodies (initiated in 2000).

    All three works have several key things in common: each exists on the Internet; each is conceptually connected to the idea of online identity and virtual embodiment, and each required extensive research to inform and inspire the creative practice. The projects are presented within three main sections, each of which attempts to link personal experience and history to a larger cultural context within which the works were produced. The first section, "Breaking with Tradition," provides an overview of historical events that have influenced the changing relationship between artist and audience and argues that the foundations for networked art were laid largely by conceptual artists working during the 1960s and 1970s.

    The second section, "Distributed Identity," examines the emergence of identity in online public spaces, focusing specifically on issues surrounding the appropriation and use of the term "avatar," and the current cultural preoccupation with databasing and archiving. The third and final section, "Visualizing the Invisible," explores the various efforts to map cyberspace, particularly paying attention to the implicit intersection of network data visualisations and biological systems, and the popular trend toward developing more "intelligent" networks through use of autonomous agents.
    Date of Award2000
    Original languageEnglish


    • Interactive art
    • virtual embodiment
    • online identity

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