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.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalM I S Quarterly
    Volume37
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)357-370
    ISSN0276-7783
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

    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

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    SN - 0276-7783

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