Virality and Digital Futures
In a very short time we have moved from the internet as an exciting new technological medium to the idea of the internet as ubiquitous, access to which is being promoted by many different groups as a fundamental human right. The fact that inexpensive internet connectivity is becoming available everywhere, especially in the rapidly growing urban centres of Asia, informs new habits of daily life just as much as it informs new modes of governance and surveillance. Connectivity underpins uncontrollable forms of circulation (virality), and even what Manuel Castells called ‘mass self-communication’. Ubiquitous internet and the production of big data has thrown up new challenges regarding data privacy. Issues of digital identity and subject-formation are coming to the fore in relation to queer identities-in-transition, and in intimate digital relations with friends, lovers, and family members. This research programme is interested in the relationship between online and offline spaces and identities, and in cyber-mediations that are transforming institutional structures as well as human interaction.