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Participatory Surveillance with Social Software in Creative Projects – Olga’s thesis

May 3, 2010

Olga Ivanova, one of my students has finished her master thesis text. I am quite happy how it came out. Especially interesting parts are the three projects and the survey about marketing the art project in hybrid ecosystem.

Participatory Surveillance with Social Software in Creative Projects

Abstract
In this master thesis where the activities in web-based social software environments that support social creative projects are studied. The focus of the study is on participatory surveillance (the practice of observation and collaboration) in these projects. The theoretical approach integrates social surveillance techniques with social software, participant behaviors in hybrid ecosystems, and also the new media art.
The diverse combination of new technologies into hybrid spaces, and utilization of knowledge of specific user behaviors in these spaces makes it possible to form a hybrid ecosystem that enables to trigger a diverse set of interests and motivations for people to join in and participate in novel creative art activities. This study is aimed to investigate how to create social artistic projects using social surveillance methods in social software environments. Surveillance is a concept that is recently overcoming a rapid change of interpretation (Pata, 2009). Initial surveillance term conveys a negative meaning – it means constantly watching persons, places or objects to collect information concerning the individual’s activities and identities. This surveillance concept is related with security, city video cameras, and other data collecting devices. However, in social software environments the surveillance concept has obtained a new positive meaning – it is now considered a prerequisite for starting various activities in the web communities. It is supposed that using social surveillance techniques would enable people to easily create, manage, seek and share information. In this study three types of artistic activities are described from the surveillance perspective: writing narratives, promoting art activities, and creating participatory art projects where social surveillance method is participatory surveillance.

The defending of the thesis will take place at 1st of June.

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