Reconstruction Theory: Designing the Space of Possibility in Complex Media

Karen Cham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Structuralism, post structuralism and semiotics underpin core methodologies in art, design, media and cultural studies and crucially, provide common ground for the analysis and design of divergent cultural artifacts.However, there are as yet, no established paradigms stemming from this methodological approach to allow the reflexive practitioner to address the nature of digital interactivity. The design of structural relations rather than closed objects or finds its roots in the participatory performance and installations of systems art, yet the dynamic capacity of digitally interactive systems in use, also places digital interactivity well within the realm of complex systems science. A digital interface may, for example, allow multiple ‘authors’ and multiple ‘readers’ to participate in a simultaneous and instantaneous reproduction and dissemination of their divergent interpretations of an artifact as part of a networked participatory process. This paper proposes a ‘reconstruction theory’ as a design methodology for the ‘space of possibility’ in such ‘complex media’ in order to underpin critical practice in digital media arts, providing a theoretical continuum from established art, design & media theory to the divergent manifestations of digital culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-267
JournalInternational Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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