Round table

Network Effect

Discussion on models and interfaces that run the network phenomena

State Machines investigates the new relationships between states, citizens and the stateless conditions made possible by emerging technologies. As the project both represents and functions as a network, one of the project’s aims is to study and evaluate networking effects, especially in the cultural domain. From a density of creative encounters in time and space throughout the 20th century, to more technologized, transcultural collaboration platforms of 21st century, networks had a seminal importance for the genesis and evolution of culture. At the same time, variety of networking models spontaneously or intentionally rendered hierarchies, bubbles and sometimes even segregation in different social environments.

Network effect is a discursive event that will tackle the political biases and social effects of networking with a special focus on the cultural domain. A discussion will be organized around two main subtopics – models and interfaces.

Whether they emerged spontaneously from dynamics of a certain historical moment, or as a result of mathematically defined algorithms, networking models render communication channels and productive social patterns but also contain social biases and trances of oppressiveness. The first part of the discussion will thus focus on networking models analysed through different case studies, but also historic models such as Schelling’s model of segregation (1978) or Hägerstrand’s time-geographic model (1970). These two models are pointed out because, in different ways, they both address the socio-generative nature of networking, posing a question of time-space relations in network analyses and visualisation.

The problems inscribed in networking models and related effects are often not only uncritically translated into different visualisations and interface structures, but further amplified with the seductive language of visual, interactive medium. The questions we want to open up within this subtopic are focused to a possibility of a “visualisation in the expanded field” which can encompass both, back-end models ant the front-end content (data) of networks, and put into question the hidden politics of interface. Again, grounding the discussion in different cases, we are going to tackle possibilities of spatialisation of visualisations through technologies such as AR and VR, and finally rethink the notion of network effect as a process of critical engagement of new audiences/users/participants.

30 June 2018
Filodrammatica, Rijeka


Annelie Berner
Benjamin Bach
Donato Ricci

Project coordinator:

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