The Ambivalent Ontology of Digital Artifacts

Jannis Kallinikos, Aleksi Aaltonen, Attila Marton

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Digital artifacts are embedded in wider and constantly shifting ecosystems such that they become increasingly editable, interactive, reprogrammable, and distributable. This state of flux and constant transfiguration renders the value and utility of these artifacts contingent on shifting webs of functional relations with other artifacts across specific contexts and organizations. By the same token, it apportions control over the development and use of these artifacts over a range of dispersed stakeholders and makes their management a complex technical and social undertaking. These ideas are illustrated with reference to (1) provenance and authenticity of digital documents within the overall context of archiving and social memory and (2) the content dynamics occasioned by the findability of content mediated by Internet search engines. We conclude that the steady change and transfiguration of digital artifacts signal a shift of epochal dimensions that calls for rethinking some of the inherited wisdom in IS research and practice.
    Digital artifacts are embedded in wider and constantly shifting ecosystems such that they become increasingly editable, interactive, reprogrammable, and distributable. This state of flux and constant transfiguration renders the value and utility of these artifacts contingent on shifting webs of functional relations with other artifacts across specific contexts and organizations. By the same token, it apportions control over the development and use of these artifacts over a range of dispersed stakeholders and makes their management a complex technical and social undertaking. These ideas are illustrated with reference to (1) provenance and authenticity of digital documents within the overall context of archiving and social memory and (2) the content dynamics occasioned by the findability of content mediated by Internet search engines. We conclude that the steady change and transfiguration of digital artifacts signal a shift of epochal dimensions that calls for rethinking some of the inherited wisdom in IS research and practice.
    LanguageEnglish
    JournalM I S Quarterly
    Volume37
    Issue number2
    Pages357-370
    ISSN0276-7783
    StatePublished - Jun 2013

    Keywords

      Cite this

      Kallinikos, J., Aaltonen, A., & Marton, A. (2013). The Ambivalent Ontology of Digital Artifacts. M I S Quarterly, 37(2), 357-370.
      Kallinikos, Jannis ; Aaltonen, Aleksi ; Marton, Attila. / The Ambivalent Ontology of Digital Artifacts. In: M I S Quarterly. 2013 ; Vol. 37, No. 2. pp. 357-370
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      Kallinikos, J, Aaltonen, A & Marton, A 2013, 'The Ambivalent Ontology of Digital Artifacts' M I S Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 357-370.

      The Ambivalent Ontology of Digital Artifacts. / Kallinikos, Jannis; Aaltonen, Aleksi; Marton, Attila.

      In: M I S Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 2, 06.2013, p. 357-370.

      Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

      TY - JOUR

      T1 - The Ambivalent Ontology of Digital Artifacts

      AU - Kallinikos,Jannis

      AU - Aaltonen,Aleksi

      AU - Marton,Attila

      PY - 2013/6

      Y1 - 2013/6

      N2 - Digital artifacts are embedded in wider and constantly shifting ecosystems such that they become increasingly editable, interactive, reprogrammable, and distributable. This state of flux and constant transfiguration renders the value and utility of these artifacts contingent on shifting webs of functional relations with other artifacts across specific contexts and organizations. By the same token, it apportions control over the development and use of these artifacts over a range of dispersed stakeholders and makes their management a complex technical and social undertaking. These ideas are illustrated with reference to (1) provenance and authenticity of digital documents within the overall context of archiving and social memory and (2) the content dynamics occasioned by the findability of content mediated by Internet search engines. We conclude that the steady change and transfiguration of digital artifacts signal a shift of epochal dimensions that calls for rethinking some of the inherited wisdom in IS research and practice.

      AB - Digital artifacts are embedded in wider and constantly shifting ecosystems such that they become increasingly editable, interactive, reprogrammable, and distributable. This state of flux and constant transfiguration renders the value and utility of these artifacts contingent on shifting webs of functional relations with other artifacts across specific contexts and organizations. By the same token, it apportions control over the development and use of these artifacts over a range of dispersed stakeholders and makes their management a complex technical and social undertaking. These ideas are illustrated with reference to (1) provenance and authenticity of digital documents within the overall context of archiving and social memory and (2) the content dynamics occasioned by the findability of content mediated by Internet search engines. We conclude that the steady change and transfiguration of digital artifacts signal a shift of epochal dimensions that calls for rethinking some of the inherited wisdom in IS research and practice.

      KW - Digital artifacts

      KW - Digital objects

      KW - Archives

      KW - Search engines

      KW - Information platforms and infrastructures

      KW - Modularity

      KW - Reflexivity

      KW - Change

      M3 - Journal article

      VL - 37

      SP - 357

      EP - 370

      JO - M I S Quarterly

      T2 - M I S Quarterly

      JF - M I S Quarterly

      SN - 0276-7783

      IS - 2

      ER -

      Kallinikos J, Aaltonen A, Marton A. The Ambivalent Ontology of Digital Artifacts. M I S Quarterly. 2013 Jun;37(2):357-370.