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Cover of the publication » Web of Life«

Web of Life

The Web of Life Project. Linking Art and Science

Cover of the publication » Web of Life«
Cover of the publication » Web of Life«
Type of publication
Author / Editor
Michael Gleich and Jeffrey Shaw (Eds.)

“The theory of networks and networking is providing us with radical new insights into the underlying processes of nature, economy, and society.” 

That was the starting point of Web of Life, a multidisciplinary project linking art with science in order to explore the reach of network theories. The book now sums up the results of the project, focusing on the interactive installation which read the hands of thousands of viewers around the world. Just as the installation Web of Life diversely reflects the notion of living networks, so the book examines how the new media, the internet, and the network idea are part of the texture of contemporary art.

The theory of networks and networking is providing us with radical new insights into the underlying processes of nature, economy, and society. »Web of Life« was conceived as a  multidisciplinary project that conjoins art and science to give form and expression to this fundamentally important new realm of understanding. Devised by the writer Michael Gleich and artist Jeffrey Shaw, the project was sponsored by the Aventis Foundation, and created and produced at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe by a team of artists, designers, architects, scientists, and technicians.

“Networks and swarms use the logic of evolution, the strategy of the living that for the last 3.5 billion years has placed its stakes on the networking principle- incidentally, with great success. Networks and swarms allow the masses to contribute their proposals and ideas to the great project of civilization. One emergent product of creative networking and swarming could be collective intelligence on a planetary scale. One step further in cultural evolution. We cannot know what form such a global brain will take. But it might will open up to humankind a further dimension of life. And isn't that what it's all about?” 
– Michael Gleich

“The »net condition« is a circumstance, a contingency and a predicament. It has made our screens into lattices that hide and expose the terrains of newly formed intelligent information spaces. These shared environments of any and every level of embodiment are above all social spaces in which the work of art is no longer a mere cultural accessory, but can define the very structure and cosmology of those spaces and their inherent and emergent activities.”
– Jeffrey Shaw

106 p. : numerous ill.
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe

Aventis Foundation

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