roots§routes is a magazine with an editorial vision announced by its editorial board, which guarantees the quality and coherence of its contents. We consider it crucial to maintain an ongoing receptivity towards any submission of quality, provided it corresponds with the final vision shared among the editors. We therefore not only solicit work from artists and scholars, but also encourage submissions from contributors working in contexts that we do not know directly.
roots§routes announces a Call For Proposal, asking artists and scholars to submit proposals, beginning with the magazine’s theme for the upcoming quarter.
Submissions should be sent in the form of an abstract, with a maximum of 350 words, to the following email address: email@example.com, with the subject heading “Article Submission.” Abstracts written in English, Italian, French, Portugues or Spanish are acceptable.
In the case of interest on the part of the editorial board, an email requesting the full paper will be sent to the author of the abstract. The paper is to be written in the language of the author’s choosing. The editorial board, upon receiving the full paper, reserves the right to request partial edits, or to reject the piece, in the case that it does not align with the earlier proposal.
For those interested in submitting materials, the themes for the upcoming issue of the magazine will be announced on this section of the website.
curated by Carolina Farina
If the medium conditions the message […], on the Internet (a medium based on the creation of connection nets), the message is the social relationships that all these media generate1.
Within Virtual community and networking, the imperative is to be create the net. The World Wide Web system is based increasingly on peer-to-peer philosophy (typical of the hacker ethics). Media technology in the era of a web 2.0 has become an immersive and immaterial environment, where communication is the fulcrum of life within it. In this space, people participate as authors of relational dynamics that are characteristic of the “offline” life: they not only replicate them but they translate them through a multimedia interface.
The virtual community2 questions the concept of “reality” urging the consideration of concepts such as that of individual and collective existence as they happen within cyberspace: a place where boundaries of the body, of geography, of time, and of identity are rarefied and replaced by new codes of expression, iconographies, sensorial perceptions and narratives.
Within the network, each individual is called to (re)define his/her presence by positioning him/herself in a representation of the information that he/she decides to share: «The user becomes one of the protagonists of an event that involves him on both a cognitive level and a perceptive one, allowing them to take the process of creation and transmission of information into his own hands, through direct feedback from the medium»3.
Social networks are sensitive towards the information users share. This awareness is expressed by a constant negotiation and adaptation of content aimed at creating gratifying experiences using the manipulation of perception and shared visions.
How have social relationships and the sharing of knowledge changed from a once analogical life, to a virtual one, through the mediation process of the computer interface? What is the creative potential and the critical issues of this connective intelligence, where those once marginalized by traditional media are now included as well? This “networking” practice takes on different functions and meanings depending on the subjects: it creates communities characterized by an increasingly peculiar diversification and fragmentation of goals, cultures and languages. There are, in fact, examples of different political movements and activist undertakings that have chosen, since their conception, the virtual space as a privileged platform for discussion, gathering and, in some cases, the site of subversive actions.
The virtually-connective, together with other nodes it touches, becomes essential in the development of an identity (both individual and communal) which is then disseminated through different technological devices and integrated with the physical body. In this process, the definition of “collectivity” becomes more problematic and complex. The recognizing oneself within a shared “us”, although it signifies being in the same ethereal place, hangs precariously between “belonging” and “taking part” when moving easily among the sometimes alienating specificity of fanbases and the populist #jesuis.
In a context where anyone, with the necessary technology, is invested with the power to create content to spread within the network, the user assumes a new role: not just an author, but a controller. Authorship and authority, combines with an apparently relevant, yet shared, power in the name of a declared horizontality. How can freedom of expression be best articulated within the social dynamics of cyberspace? How can we face hate speeches, trolls and cyberbullying (phenomena of a culture of violence that found an optimal habitat in virtuality)?. The emotional sphere of the individual becomes remarkably important in social media where, amplified by virtuality, it has become a powerful tool of aggregation. These processes show the constant growth of a collective, hypertextual, multimedia and multisensory memory, to which the entire population of the network simultaneously and globally participates.
How do artistic practices take part in these processes, and what interests can artists to worm through the network’s relational strategies? Can one imagine the legacy of cyberpunk activists and artists re-invested by the users themselves in critical micro-actions, artistic détournements and revolutions within the everyday life of virtual communities?
1 de Kerckhove D. (Preface) at T. Bazzichelli, Networking. The Net as Artwork, Digital Aesthetics Research Center, Aarhus University 2008, p.11.
2 H. Rheingold, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, MIT Press 2000.
3 Bazzichelli T., Networking. The Net as Artwork, Digital Aesthetics Research Center, Aarhus University 2008, p. 92.
publication 15th September 2017
abstract by 1st August 2017
contribution by 31st August 2017
publication 15th November 2017
abstract by 1st October 2017
contribution by 31st October 2017
curated by Laura Estrada Prada
“Il mondo è l’emanazione di un corpo che lo penetra.
Tra la sensazione delle cose e sensazione di sé, si istaura un andirvieni continuo:
prima del pensiero, vi sono i sensi.”
-David Le Breton
In a world that has manifestly emancipated itself from Descartes’ disdain for bodily consideration, the corporeal has asserted its importance within all cultural and academic disciplines. With the acknowledgement of the body as a maker of meaning, sensory perception becomes pivotal. Today, the discerning of the world is necessarily a multi-sensory, a multi-disciplinary and a multi-cultural understanding of such. It is within this framework and in coherence with much needed attention to the body, that the subversion of a long withstanding hierarchy of the senses takes place. For a long time, sight and hearing were coined the “noble senses”: the sole to provide an intellectual experience. Smell, taste and touch were for long recognized as the “lower senses”, too instinctual and emotional to be worthy of intellectual acknowledgment in the West1. This changed in the latter part of the 20th century and those lower senses have started to seep their way into cultural narratives in a more conscious and knowing way: the tacit yet shared implications of living in a world that has to be tasted, touched and smelled in order to attempt a more well-rounded comprehension2. This sensory shift provides a different understanding of contexts and circumstances in which the senses become actual subjects of reflection rather than side-effects. Through the disruption of common ways of sensing, we can trigger considerations on how experience can shape sensory perception, rather than how the senses shape experiences3. Reconsidering the value of the neglected senses of smell, touch and taste in society becomes, therefore, a multi-disciplinary practice: one where art, histories, anthropology and science might find a space of dialectical convergence. How can we talk about smells, tactile experiences and tastes? Does the “strength” of these senses lie in their subversion of a shared hierarchy, proposing themselves as elements of disturbance in the way we feel collectively? Is their evocative and emotional nature one that urges us to re-examine their “language” and their aesthetic value, one that has been mainly understood and theorized visually?
1 Classen, C. e Howes, D. Ways of Sensing, Routledge, New York, 2014.
2 Le Breton, D. Il Sapore del mondo. Raffaello Cortina Editore, Milano, 2007.
3 Bacci, F. e Melcher, D. Art & The Senses, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013.
publication 15th January 2018
abstract by 1st December 2017
contribution by 31st December 2017
publication 15th March 2018
abstract by 1st February 2018
contribution by 28th February 2018