Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Weblogs as liminal spaces

Below is the abstract I submitted for the Into the Blogosphere CFP I mentioned last week.


We can view weblogs as enabling revolutionary possibilities for communication, or as merely the latest iteration of more than a decade of online self-publishing. However, following post-structural approaches, and especially those of Deleuze and Guattari, we may shift analysis away from such totalising explanations or representations, and towards notions of decentralised performativity and relationality. This shift forces us to examine the spaces in-between which have traditionally been glossed over as void. Historically, anthropologists have referred to the spaces in-between as liminal spaces, thresholds or transitions from one state or space to another. Accordingly, liminality has been understood to perform boundaries, as well as beginnings, becomings, and similar forms of cultural transition or mobility.

This paper applies notions of performativity and relationality to articulate weblogs as liminal spaces, or spaces of flow. In this way, weblogs may be understood as socio-technical assemblages that negotiate relations between virtuality, actuality, distance, proximity, past, present and future. In other words, weblogs create particular spaces and times in which social activity may, and does, occur. Taking an auto-ethnographic approach, this paper examines the authorís own weblog as a social and technological space between online academic and design communities, where boundaries between subjects are blurred, and both individual and collective meaning and identity struggle to emerge. In particular, this paper addresses the role of comments and archives in delineating specific spaces and times of interaction while also creating what might be described as the never-ending weblog.


Blogger lucazoid said...

hi anne
your paper for into the blogosphere sounds very interesting! i'd be interested to read the finished thing, if it's available!


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