Dr Olga Goriunova

Personal profile

I joined Royal Holloway in September 2015, having previously held positions at Goldsmiths, London Metropolitan University and Warwick University. My first degree is in philology and literary scholarship (Lomonosov State University, Moscow) and my PhD is in digital media from Media Lab at Aalto University (Helsinki).

There are a number of long-standing interests in my work: technological culture and aesthetics, media and software art, media theory, software studies, subjectivity, and ecology. 

In my work on aesthetics and digital culture, I focus on the emergence of new cultural forms, whether visual, software driven, organisational or curatorial as substantiated by technical forms and creative engagement. Thinking about image here means understanding database as a cultural agent and artist as a filter. Glitches and memes arise out of techno-cultural practices borne by platforms and networks. 

I wrote Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet (N-Y-London, Routledge, 2012)  and co-edited Readme. Software Art and Cultures (Aarhus, University of Aarhus Press, 2004) which both attest to the emergence of new aesthetic phenomena through techno-cultural conditions and possibilities of their time.

As part of my work with art, I have been active as a curator and organiser. I have edited and co-edited four volumes on software art and cultures related to the Runme.org software art repository I helped create and manage and to four Readme Festivals I co-curated, including, Software art plays (Moscow: ROSIZO, 2002), Readme Reader. About Software Art (Helsinki: NIFCA, 2003) and Readme 100 Temporary Software Art Factory (Dortmund: HMKV, 2006).

I curated Funware exhibition (Arnolfini, Bristol, UK September-November 2010; MU and Baltan, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, November 2010–January 2011).

I am one of the founders and a co-editor of Computational Culture, a Journal of Software Studies.

In relation to software studies, I published an edited volume Fun and Software: Exploring Pleasure, Paradox and Pain in Computing (N-Y - London, Bloomsburym 2014). Fun and Software offers the untold story of fun as constitutive of the culture and aesthetics of computing. Fun in computing is a mode of thinking, making and experiencing. It invokes and convolutes the question of rationalism and logical reason, addresses the sensibilities and experience of computation and attests to its creative drives. By exploring topics as diverse as the pleasure and pain of the programmer, geek wit, affects of play and coding as a bodily pursuit of the unique in recursive structures, the book helps construct a different point of entry to the understanding of software as culture.

In my current work I develop the notion of the digital subject in relation to data mining, modelling and profiling as well as online performance. I am trying to understand how digital subjects are made and perform in and with automated calculative infrastuctures.

I am also interested in the questions of contemporary ethico-aesthetics and environmental humanities.

I am Media Arts' Director of Graduate Research.




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