UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Fluid Dynamics: On the Representation of Water and Discourses of the Digital

Kinsey, C; (2020) Fluid Dynamics: On the Representation of Water and Discourses of the Digital. Art History , 43 (3) pp. 510-537. 10.1111/1467-8365.12483. Green open access

[thumbnail of Kinsey_Essay.pdf]
Preview
Text
Kinsey_Essay.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (293kB) | Preview

Abstract

Water bottles, ripples, waves, storms, floods, pipes and oceans. In the last decade, water has featured as a major thematic or visual trope in artworks made with, for or about the Internet. From Helen Marten's Evian Disease (2012) to Hito Steyerl's Liquidity Inc. (2014), this essay considers why the image of water has provided such a powerful and provocative visual metaphor for new digital technologies. I analyse how the image of water has been used to map out a series of key relationships between information technology, finance and the environment. Drawing these fields together through the themes of transparency and opacity, order and chaos, I argue that the image of water serves as a shorthand for making art in a time of crisis: a representation of a meltdown that is at once both metaphoric and all too real. At stake in this is the idea that the repeated and recurrent use of images of water in recent art reveals not simply how but crucially why a new set of narratives about digital technology has emerged since 2008: narratives in which a historical language of immaterial flows has now come to be superseded by one of material realities.

Type: Article
Title: Fluid Dynamics: On the Representation of Water and Discourses of the Digital
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1467-8365.12483
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8365.12483
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History of Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123002
Downloads since deposit
54Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item