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Joseph Leung Mong-Sum 
Digital Angst – An Artistic Ethnography of the Relationship between Anxiety and Digital Culture (from Hong Kong to China and the World)

Digital Angst: A Visual Ethnography of Anxiety in the Digital Age

The research seeks to examine anxiety as situated in the digital age through the use of practice-led visual ethnography. Surveying from three perspectives, namely the existential, the interpersonal and the political perspective, the research inquires the different modes of anxiety, both as an individual experience and a wider socio-political affect under the current digital landscape.

With the use of visual ethnography as a method, artistic practice as a medial plane allows the embodied knowledge, specifically on the phenomenon of anxiety in the digital age, to be manifested, which would be combined with the intertextual analysis of existing literature on anxiety in conceiving an overall articulation of the digital angst. Ultimately, the research wishes to embark with the preposition that anxietyboth as an individual and socio-political phenomenon is actively shaping the digital landscape and simultaneously shaped by it.

There are three main groups of research questions in this project:

On the Manifestation of Anxiety in the Digital Age:

  • How is anxietyexperienced in the digital age? What form(s) does it take?
  • How is anxietyspreading across the digital landscape? In what way(s) is it spreading?

On the Socio-political Influence of Anxiety in the Digital age:

  • How is anxiety influencing the overall development of the digital landscape?
  • How is the digital landscape shaping and reinforcing the experience of anxiety?

On “Visual Ethnography” as a Methodology:

  • What has been entailed by the artworks produced in this research, in relation to the study of anxiety in the digital age?
  • How has the use of visual ethnography as a method informed this research?

Supervisor: Gabriele Rothemann

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From the series “Topographics of Digital Emptiness”, 2022- Present, Credit: Joseph Leung Mong Sum