Paper details

Electronic Resources in the Digital Age

Session coordinator: Petra Štogrová Jedličková, Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Czech Republic

Where: 27. 5. 2009, 14.15 - 17.30, Auditorium D

The Culture of Open APIs in the Age of Cloud Computing: New Information Paradigms or Old Information Paradoxes?

Autor: Denisa Kera, National University of Singapore, Communications and New Media programme, Singapore



After the “user centered” web 2.0 universe, we are entering a new phase in which internet is transforming into a “culture of open APIs” (Application programming interfaces) and a world of server farms and data centers questioning once again the status of the user and the nature of the networks. The culture of open APIs is defined not only by user generated content but even more by the phenomena of aggregation, recycling and visualizations of data with a help of various widgets, mashups and microapplications. The goal is not only to foster user generated content and interaction but to enhance the emergence of new and surprising connections, networks, and mashups between different data. This decentralized approach to the information flows goes hand in hand with very centralized and provocative idea of internet as a platform, service or even utility where all data and computing is done in the “cloud” rather than on our PC. Are we witnessing a new emergent paradigm of how information should be generated and distributed or is this just another return of the discussion around centralization and decentralization of information, sources and data? The different APIs that offer so much decentralization are after all closely connected to the idea of cloud computing as the more efficient but also centralized approach to who should own the data and the computing power. While the culture of APIs presents novel strategy how to make sense and experience our technologically saturated world of data, to create new and unexpected connections and networks, the cloud computing paradigm seems to open up the Pandora box and raise new fear of centralization. How to rethink the processes of centralization and decentralization of information and computing today? How to analyze the immense effect they have on the relation between what is small and big, private and public, local and global?

About author:

Denisa Kera is Assistant Professor of New Media Studies and member of the Science Technology & Society cluster at National University of Singapore. She received Ph.D. in Information Science from Charles University in Prague and MA in Philosophy. Her research interests include New Media Theory, Science and Technology Studies and topics in Digital Culture and Art. Her Ph.D. thesis (New media theory as ontology of the computer code) examines issues of performativity in computer codes as the bases of new media theory. Before joining NUS, she worked as a research associate at the Center for Global studies, Academy of Sciences in Prague, where she was studying the posthuman aspects of society and globalisation in relation to evolution theories. She has extensive experience as a curator of exhibitions related to art, technology and science, such as "WEB 2.0 generation" at the festival ENTER3, "Artists in Labs" and "TransGenesis: festival of biotechnology and art" in 2006 and 2007, the game art section at the Entermutimediale festival in 2005.

Other papers in this session:

Transfer of Knowledge in Cyberspace: Issue of Monitoring, Data Analysis and Evaluation with regard to the Transmissivity of Virtual Worlds and Reality

Author: Jakub Štogr, Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Czech Republic

Studying in the Digital Age

Author: Tomáš Rain, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic


Ivana Švarcová, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic

Digital Portfolio as a Professional Development Tool

Author: Dominik Fellner, St. John´s College - Teachers´ Training College, Czech Republic

Czech Publishing and E-sources

Author: Klára Sušická, Municipal Library of Prague, Czech Republic

Audiovisual Material Management and Preservation

Author: Bohuš Získal, Charles University in Prague - Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship, Czech Republic


Author: František Zachoval, Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Czech Republic


Jan Vidlička, Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Czech Republic