[ISEA2023] Paper: Gyung Jin Shin — Symbiotic Collaborators: The New Creative Subject in Postdigital Participatory Art


Short Paper. Theme: Social Experiences Subtheme: Symbiotic Organizations

As the Internet promotes participatory culture, contemporary network-driven participatory art, which I refer to as “postdigital participatory art” (PPA), has introduced additional revolutionary creative subjects. PPA induces a distinctive type of collective agency beyond mere collaboration among individuals by means of the participatory architecture of the web. These multiple participants distribute the authority power of creation throughout the network, transcending the limitations of time and space. In this paper, I attempt to theorize the attributes of these new creative subjects, which I refer to as “participant-superjects,” with the concept of superject serving here to indicate “power by modulation.”

I outline the attributes of these diffuse creative subjects and gauge their radical possibilities in terms of the agenda of experimental art. I argue that, based on the new sense of relationality, materiality, and ontological perception associated with the postdigital environment, these unique creative subjects are able to open up a new dimension of creativity that differs from the modernist model, which emphasizes the creativity of the individual. I hypothesize that the fluid power driven by this new creative subject exerts a latent force in building new social relations outside the logic of the capitalist system.

  • Gyung Jin Shin is a multimedia artist and researcher. She has incorporated a wide range of digital media into her artworks in such contexts as physical computing, programming, and 3D printing. Her current research interests include network-based participatory art, issues relating to labour in human-nonhuman collaborations, revisionist historiography of media art, and author discourses that emerge with the advent of new technological advances. Her creative projects have been exhibited and screened at a worldwide biennale, a conference, and media art festivals and in museums. She is an assistant professor in the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University.