Aesthetics, digital objects and hacking – Research Axis

Head: Alejandra Pérez

Digital Objects are a field of enquiry that raises from an intensive milieu of networks, software, tokens and protocols. Objects, whether they are physical and rendered through scanning techniques or modelled with 3D software they are always implicated in relations with other objects (Cf. Fuller, 2004). Processes of transduction of qualities are assisted by digitalization, enabling a tropism towards the dataification of physical reality (Cf. Hui, 2012). Their existence facilitates our access to million relations of dimensionality, permutational fields of being (Cf. Fuller, 2004).

Hacking may be seen as a methodology, a situated technology, a type of precarized work and a «universe» in the metaverse imagined by Neal Stephenson, «in which 2 is the only really important number because that’s how many digits a computer can recognize» (Cf. Stephenson, 1992 p32). Hacking may be understood as an abstract class (the hacker class) (Cf. Wark, 2005) and a form of governance (Cf. Chandler, 2018). Furthermore, hacking may be understood as an oppositional technology created by feminist cyborgs (Sandoval, 2004) to enable methodologies of the oppressed (Cf. Sandoval. 2013).

The AESTHETICS, DIGITAL OBJECTS AND HACKING axis is located at the intersection of hacking, the creative arts, digital technologies and philosophy. It aims at developing research of interest to those involved in the theoretical aspects of hacking digital objects. These include but are not limited to aesthetics, sound art, literature, philosophy of technology, software studies, anthropology and transgender studies. 

The following list, while not exhaustive, indicates a range of topics that fall within the scope of the axis:

  • New insights through the use of digital objects in philosophy and the creative process.
  • The intersection between hacking, computational creativity, research and technology.
  • The relationships between aesthetic theory, hacking, virtual reality, interactive art, NFT art and crypto art.
  • Interaction relationships between digital objects, hacking and transgender perspectives.
  • Intersection between hacking and philosophy.
  • Multisensory experiences and interfaces.
  • Everyday experience with hacking, digital objects and artwork.
  • Theoretical concepts.

Our starting point is a reflection on what kind of object a digital object is? What is the specificity of a digital object? In this respect, in our line of research and following Bogost (2012), we argue that all objects equally exist. Is hacking a method for elucidating the singularities of digital objects? How is the dataification of the world manifested in the material world and in our understanding of the world?


Bogost, I. (2012). Alien phenomenology, or, what it’s like to be a thing. U of Minnesota Press.

Chandler, D., 2018. Ontopolitics in the Anthropocene: An introduction to mapping, sensing and hacking. Routledge.

Fuller, M. (2004). Digital Objects. Read_Me: Software Art & Cultures-Edition, 26-41.

Hooks, B., Brah, A., Sandoval, C., Anzaldúa, G., Levins Morales, A., Bhavnani, K.K., Coulson, M., Alexander, M.J. and Talpade Mohanty, C., 2004. Otras inapropiables: Feminismos desde las fronteras. Madrid: Traficantes de sueños, 2004..

Hui, Y. (2012). What is a digital object?. Metaphilosophy, 43(4), 380-395.

Sandoval, C., 2013. Methodology of the Oppressed (Vol. 18). U of Minnesota Press.

STEPHENSON, N. (1992). Snow crash.

Wark, M., 2004. A Hacker Manifesto Cambridge. MA: HUP.