For the past two years I have been working in collaboration with artist Katriona Beales on her Welcome Trust funded project Are We All Addicts Now? The project developed off the back of her 2015 work White Matter, which I commissioned as part of my Group Therapy exhibition with FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). The project will culminate in a major exhibition of new artwork by Katriona at Furtherfield, London this September.
Are We All Addicts Now? is an artist-led enquiry into digital hyper-connectivity and the normalization of addictive behaviours through our everyday interactions with digital devices. While internet addiction is not yet considered an official psychiatric disorder, it is gaining increased recognition as a behavioral phenomenon in both scientific study and the press.
I have edited the Are We All Addicts Now? book in collaboration with medical doctor and neuroscience researcher Henrietta Bowden-Jones. It combines visual and textual research, including artistic works from Katriona, alongside essays from contributors in the fields of anthropology, digital culture, psychology and philosophy. Informed by the latest scientific research, the book acknowledges the increasing difficulty many people experience in controlling their online habits. At the same time, it also thinks beyond the biological model of internet addiction toward the social and political dimensions that shape everyday online activities and habit-forming behaviour. This book is the first interdisciplinary exploration of this burgeoning diagnostic territory.
The book also features some amazing visuals by designer Stëfan Schäfer (see featured image).
List of contributors:
Mark D. Griffiths with Daria J. Kuss & Halley M. Pontes
Fiona MacDonald : Feral Practice
It’s due to be published on 15 September and is available from the Liverpool University Press website.