Claudia Pilsl

Photography and its Contribution to the Understanding of Digital Porosity (Plymouth) 2015—

In this research I use my art practice as photographer, walker and explorer of indeterminate spaces to investigate digital porosity. I use the term ‘digital porosity’ to describe how the internet has opened up new ways of interacting and engaging with the world and each other and I refer hereby to developments since the mid 90s and in particular to web 2.0 that encourages users to generate content. Digital porosity does not define a concrete or material space but is a consequence of this version of the Internet that enables the user to engage with a mediation of an event that might occur, or might have taken place, in a different locality and time. By tracking clicks and likes through websites and search engines (Google since 4/12/2009) algorithms are generated that target the individual and increasingly inform and structure any online interaction. However, this is not only aimed to manipulate our shopping habits with personalized advertisement. It also influences which information comes up on our screen taking into account education, financial bracket, our political and cultural inclinations and the social graph of contacts in our networks. This tailored spectrum of information also encourages an affective subjective viewpoint that is likely to be shared and reinforced by our online friends.


The current Internet prioritizes visual representation and, ultimately, the photographic image over text. Photography with its long standing history of mediating geographical locations and moments in time has helped to establish a visual online world that is informed by a deployment of a disjunction of time and place. Through this photography also contributes more and more to how information is established, distributed and gathered. In this research I focus, in particular, on how timelines and geographies are generated through the engagement with photographic online images and how this material is de- and re-contextualized through digital porosity.
Supervision Team: Prof. Liz Wells (Director of Studies), Prof. Michael Punt and Dr.Kayla Parker
Twitter: c_pilsl
Instagram: in_search_of_place