This paper explores how the aesthetics of online gentrification, tied to the commercialization of online space, parallel and differ from the aesthetics of urban gentrification, with a focus on homogenization, transience, professionalization, and authenticity.

Slide deck (PDF on Google Drive)
Slide deck (Slideshare)

Abstract:
The gentrification of physical space and its aesthetics have been well theorized and documented, as has the impact of the internet and tech companies on physical gentrification. However, the aesthetics of online gentrification are less well defined. This paper explores how the aesthetics of online gentrification, tied to the commercialization of online space, parallel and differ from the aesthetics of urban gentrification, with a focus on homogenization, transience, professionalization, and authenticity. I also explore the impact of these shifts, including shifts in who produces and consumes online content and broader flattening of taste and culture.

Alyce Currier
Alyce Currier (they/them) is currently enrolled in Pratt Institute’s M.S. in Information Experience Design, expected to graduate in 2023. After studying sociology and media studies as an undergraduate, they spent the last decade working in the tech industry. With a critical but optimistic eye toward technology, they are particularly interested in exploring what it looks like to build strong, intentional communities and systems of support (both online and offline) outside of corporate control, and building meaningful connections in an increasingly stressful and exploitative attention economy.
Alyce Currier
Alyce Currier

Latest posts by Alyce Currier (see all)