HereNow art and tech residency: Outcome Exhibition
I’ve been thinking through past works that have focused on the production of online news, it’s distribution, and the complexities that data analysis brings to these productions, since 2013 with my work on the Leveson Enquiry, algorithms ‘curating’ online news with Low Animal Spirits, also looking at the incredible interdependencies between social media and finance in Breaking News Flash Crash, and our twitterbot @LowAnimalSpirit tweeting highly speculative headlines (2014). I found the models of mass behaviour that finance affords useful to unpack the problems revealed of late, with news production as a particularly interesting focus, primarily because we care whether it’s true, or not, and as such are invested in it’s truth value. These works explored, early on, how the dynamics and protocols of platform capitalism contribute to undermine the very process of democracy itself, through psychological profiling, and targeting, at a granular scale. I’ve lectured about these ideas extensively – developed into what I’ve called Publishing as Process - over the last 5 years, in this country and further afield in Mexico, France, Germany, and so on. More recently I’ve been writing these ideas up as a book, developed from an earlier essay published in the Journal of Visual Art, as my research has become a living reality over the last 1.5 years events, to such an extraordinary degree. The exhibition and writing experiment: de-leb at Banner Repeater covers these ideas too, with other wonderful artists thinking through similar ideas, whilst also providing an opportunity to write a collectively authored science fiction based on fact, time-stamped through smart contract on the block - exploring the capacity to broker, and withhold, personal data.
My new work projects the near future developments of data mining companies such as Cambridge Analytica, facilitated by the seamless interface language affords, with Interactive Voice Recog units Alexa, Google Home, et al, as they follow the facebook dialog agents lead, going off-script as AI learns language through negotiation skills, whilst trading in the ultimate data of my biocode. Drawing on my experience as an adolescent at the ‘Tall Girls Clinic’ Great Ormond street children’s hospital, amid new ‘readings’ of my biocode via online DNA analysis: 23andme, the IVR’s discuss historical forms of measure previously used to calculate what degree of agency, if any, the subject might be afforded, amidst future projections of new gradients of measure within the burgeoning techno-capitalist landscape.
de-leb develops within the matrix
of a collective science fiction as an experimental writing project
through multi-actor/actant input.
It introduces the capacity for an individual to broker their own data, through smart contracts, facilitated via blockchain, and asks what new values, if any, might be attributed as a result.
As such, it introduces the possibility of considering digital citizenship via the blockchain, and the contractual instruments that might accommodate this, with an urgency that attempts to think through these ideas fully enmeshed within the tensions of the libidinal and political economy of today.
de-leb takes it’s name from the situation that a de-Leb (a dead celebrity) - typically enjoys more data choice from beyond the grave - i.e. they have more agency over the deployment of their data: name, image, the very idea of them, and the products that they may be associated with - than those still living.
A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance