[-empyre-] Welcome to February on -empyre- Social Media: algorithms, untruths, and insurrection
rferro at cornell.edu
Tue Feb 2 02:32:31 AEDT 2021
Welcome to February 2021 on –empyre- soft-skinned space:
Social Media: algorithms, untruths and insurrection
Moderated by Renate Ferro (US) with Tim Murray (US) and Ben Grosser (US)
February 1st: Week 1: Ben Grosser (US), Renate Ferro (US), Tim Murray (US), Leo Selvaggio (US)
February 8th Week 2: Anna Valdes (SE), Geert Lovink (NE), Derek Curry (US), Jennifer Gradecki (US)
February 15th Week 3: Paul O’Neill (IE), Domenico Barra (IL), Alex Taek-Gwang Lee (KO),
Robert Collins (IE), Roisin Kiberd (IE). Ricardo Castellini Da Salva (IE, GE),
Kerry Guinan (IE)
February 22nd Week 4: Rahul Mukerjee (US, IN) David Quiles Guilló (IE) , Ulises Mejias (US, MX), Justin Binder (US)
Welcome to the February 2021 discussion on –empyre–, SOCIAL MEDIA: algorithms, untruths, and insurrection. On January 6th, 2021, the world watched as thousands of rioters ravaged the United States Capitol. Some of the participants are reported to be affiliated with far-right groups such as QAnon, Proud Boys, white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and additional self-described “militias.” Others were citizens who believed they had been disenfranchised, convinced that the presidential election of 2020 was stolen by votes that were not legitimate.
Social media and its code and algorithms allow networks of language and images to virally spiral out of control, affecting how information is disseminated, evaluated, and consumed. Whether truthful or not, the structures these networks have built affect how and what we receive and understand about local, regional, and global events. The former President of the United States, who left office on January 20th, was characterized as toxic and inciting though his harmful rhetoric, malicious intent, and mean-spirited actions mostly promulgated through social media streams. In the wake of the January 6th insurrection, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube finally heeded the long-standing calls of many to shut down the former President’s social media accounts. One study found that misinformation across Twitter dropped by 73% after the former President was banned.
This month on -empyre- we consider SOCIAL MEDIA: algorithms, untruths, and insurrection, and how an environment of cynicism, distrust, and disdain has allowed communication and network flows to organize, promulgate, and maneuver through the citizenry in real time. How has social media affected the ways we talk about ourselves and our world, from the individual to the collective? How will these events be historicized? How can we as artists, educators, technologists, and media theorists navigate these events and their algorithmic relations critically? Is it possible that through writing, coding, art, and/or performance that we can scrupulously analyze, discern, assess, and theorize the weight of the circumstances we have witnessed? And finally, how might those activities illuminate new paths forward through alternative online media structures that avoid the ills of our present social media monopolies?
TO MAKE A POST TO THE SUBSCRIPTION LIST:
empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
TO ACCESS ARCHIVE
TO ACCESS THE WEBSITE FROM THE CORNELL SERVER TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT –EMPYRE-:
Renate Ferro (US)
Renate Ferro is a conceptual media artist who toggles between the creative skins of old and new technologies. Ferro’s work takes on create skins whose configurations include installation, interactive net-based projects, digital time-based media, drawing, text, and performance-based work. These creative skins include participatory, collaborative, generative, and customizable characteristics impacting the networked quality of her work. Her artistic work has been featured at the University of Virginia, Hunter College Gallery (NYC), The Freud Museum (London), The Dorksy Gallery (NYC), The Hemispheric Institute and FOMMA (Mexico), The Janus Pannonius Muzeum (Hungary), Peking University (Beijing), Johnson Art Museum (Ithaca, NY), and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). Her image-based work has been published in Diacritics and Theatre Journal. Her writing has been published in journals such as Media-N and several anthologies. She is the managing curator and moderator of the online international listserv, -empyre-soft-skinned space that brings together artists, theorists, and technologists.
She has been at Cornell University since 2004 as a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Art teaching digital media and theory and is currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Tim Murray (US)
A longtime member of the -empyre- moderation team, Tim Murray is Director of the Cornell Council for the Arts, Professor of Comparative Literature and English, and Founding Curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art in the Cornell Library. He has curated the international exhibition “Contact Zones: The Art of CD-Rom” (https://contactzones.cit.cornell.edu), and with Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, the conceptual internet art journal, “CTHEORY Multimedia” (http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu). More recently, he joined Sarah Watson and Sherry Miller Hocking on “The Experimental Television Center: A History, ETC” at Hunter College Galleries in New York City, and at Cornell, he curated “Signal to Code: 50 Years of Media Art in the Goldsen Archive” (http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/signaltocode/) as well as the 2018 and 2020 Cornell Biennials (http://cca.cornell.edu/?p=2020-biennial.
He is awaiting production of Technics Improvised: Activating Touch in Global Media Art(Minnesota, 2022). Among his books are Medium Philosophicum: Pensar tecnológicamente el arte (Universidad de Murcia, 2021), Digital Baroque: New Media Art and Cinematic Folds (Minnesota, 2008), Zonas de Contacto: el arte en CD-Rom (Centro de la Imagen, 1999), Drama Trauma: Specters of Race and Sexuality in Performance, Video, Art (Routledge, 1997), Like a Film: Ideological Fantasy on Screen, Camera, and Canvas (Routledge, 1993), ed. Xu Bing’s Background Story and his Oeuvre (Mandarin), co-edited with Yang Shin-Yi (Life Bookstore Publishing, 2016), ed. with Irving Goh of The Prepositional Senses of Jean-Luc Nancy, 2 Vols., diacritics (2014-16), and ed., Mimesis, Masochism & Mime: The Politics of Theatricality in Contemporary French Thought (Michigan, 1997).
Ben Grosser (US)
Ben Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that examine the cultural, social, and political effects of software. Recent exhibition venues include the Barbican Centre in London, Museum Kesselhaus in Berlin, Museu das Comunicações in Lisbon, and Galerie Charlot in Paris. His works have been featured in The New Yorker, Wired, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Washington Post, El País, Libération, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Der Spiegel. The Chicago Tribune called him the “unrivaled king of ominous gibberish.” Slate referred to his work as “creative civil disobedience in the digital age.” Grosser’s artworks are regularly cited in books investigating the cultural effects of technology, including The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, The Metainterface, Critical Code Studies, and Technologies of Vision, as well as volumes centered on computational art practices such as Electronic Literature, The New Aesthetic and Art, and Digital Art. Grosser is an associate professor in the School of Art + Design, and co-founder of the Critical Technology Studies Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. https://bengrosser.com
Leo Selvaggio (US)
Leo Selvaggio is an Interdisciplinary Artist and Designer whose work examines the
entanglement of identity with technology within the context of civic action. He has exhibited in France, Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands and broadly in the US. Selvaggio’s work has been featured in Businessweek, Hyperallergic, Techcrunch, The Washington Post, CNET, The Verge, and others. His work is included in various collections including the Spy Museum and the Wende Museum in the US. Selvaggio’s writing can be found in several publications, including the “International Journal for Performance Arts'' and the recent book, “The Evolution of the
Image: Political Action and the Digital Self”. He holds a BFA from Rutgers University and an MFA from Columbia College’s Interdisciplinary Arts program. He currently serves as an Instructional Media Technologist for the Multimedia Labs at Brown University.
Ana Valdés (UR)
Ana Valdes is a writer, art curator and social anthropologist born in Uruguay. She was a political prisoner for several years. She lived in Sweden where she became engaged in the Palestinian struggle for an independent state. Now she is working with a former inmate of Guantanamo writing a book and making a film. She is currently working on research with several Swedish and Uruguayan institutions on the issues of exile and the diaspora. This research will result in an upcoming exhibition and book. Ana has been a long-time participant of –empyre-soft-skinned space.
Geert Lovink (NL)
Geert Lovink is a Dutch media theorist, internet critic and author of Uncanny Networks (2002), Dark Fiber (2002), My First Recession (2003), Zero Comments (2007), Networks Without a Cause (2012), Social Media Abyss (2016), Organisation after Social Media (with Ned Rossiter, 2018) and Sad by Design (2019). In 2004 he founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. His centre organizes conferences, publications and research networks such as Video Vortex (online video), Unlike Us (alternatives in social media), Critical Point of View (Wikipedia), Society of the Query (the culture of search), MoneyLab (internet-based revenue models in the arts). Recent projects deal with digital publishing and the future of art criticism.
Derek Curry (US)
Derek Curry is an artist-researcher whose work critiques and addresses spaces for intervention in automated decision making systems. His work has addressed automated stock trading systems, Open Source Intelligence gathering (OSINT), and algorithmic classification systems. His artworks have replicated aspects of social media surveillance systems and communicated with algorithmic trading bots. Derek earned his MFA in New Genres from UCLA's Department of Art in 2010 and his PhD in Media Study from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2018. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in Boston.
Curry has exhibited his work internationally at venues such as Ars Electronica (Linz), Science Gallery Dublin, NeMe Cultural Center (Cypress), North East of North (Scotland), the Athens Digital Art Festival, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, the AC Institute (New York), Hallwalls (Buffalo), and the USF Institute for Research in Art (Tampa). His projects have been funded by Science Gallery Dublin and the Puffin Foundation, and the NEoN festival. http://derekcurry.com/
Jennifer Gradecki Jennifer (US)
Jennifer Gradecki BFA Sculpture/Psychology, MFA New Genres, PhD Visual Studies, is an artist-theorist who investigates secretive and specialized socio-technical systems. Her artistic research has focused on social science techniques, financial instruments, mass surveillance, intelligence analysis, artificial intelligence, and the spread of misinformation on social media. She has presented and exhibited at venues including Ars Electronica (Linz), New Media Gallery (Zadar), Media Art History (Göttweig), The New Gallery (Calgary), Critical Finance Studies (Amsterdam), ISEA (Vancouver), ADAF (Athens), and the Centro Cultural de España (México). She is an Assistant Professor of Art + Design at Northeastern University in Boston. Her research has been published in Big Data & Society, Visual Resources, and Leuven University Press. Her artwork has been funded by Science Gallery Dublin, the Puffin Foundation, and the NEoN Digital Arts Festival. www.jennifergradecki.com
Paul O’Neill (IE)
Paul O’ Neill is a media artist based in Dublin, Ireland. His practice and research is concerned with the implications of our collective dependency on networked technologies and infrastructures. This discourse is reflected in his academic background, a graduate of Dublin City University with a BA International Relations, he followed this with a MSc Multimedia also from Dublin City University and then an MA in Digital Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Paul is currently completing a practice-based PhD which focuses on media art practices that critique and subvert techno-solutionist narratives and histories.
Domenico Barra (IL)
Low resolution, High vision. Glitch is the event. Pixel is the element. My aesthetics is to be found in the realm of machines failures where I interpret the glitch in various environments and digital styles. The error. The limit. The unexpected. The diversity. The fragility. The imperfection. The vulnerability. Departing from these grounds of elaboration, I develop my research and practice on various topics related to temporality, functionality, accessibility, opportunity, the influence of new technologies, design and politics, have on human relations in terms of interactions and values, in the relation human and machine, with a focus on networks and community, behaviors and languages, memory and identity, how those contribute in the evolution of a new world, society, human, their conception and perception through machines, individuals new self-awareness. My works have been published on sites and magazines including Motherboard, Bullet Magazine, Hyperallergic, Monopol, Observer, Artribune, Exibart, Widewalls and Digicult. I am listed in the second volume publication about art and technology promoted by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. I took part in many curatorial projects, my works exhibited at the DAM Gallery in Berlin, at the Media Center in New York, at the Galerie Charlot in Paris, at the Digital Art Center in Taipei, online at World Intellectual Property Organization [WIPO], at the Central Academy of Fine Arts [CAFA] in Beijing, at the MediaLAB of the University of Brasilia, at the Wrong Biennale and in many other galleries and cultural art events worldwide, and also included in academic talks and lectures at international institutes and universities. I directed the organization of the first Glitch Art group show in Italy, Tactical Glitches, curated by Rosa Menkman & Nick Briz. In 2016 I was among the artists invited by the School of Art Institute of Chicago [SAIC] for its 150th anniversary where I gave a lecture and a public talk about piracy pratices, the impact of the internet and digital media on the production, distribution and consumption of NSFW materials. I am part of the curatorial projects of Sedition Gallery, ELEMENTUM and Snark.Art. I collaborated with the MoCDA Museum, Hard Disk Museum and The Wrong Biennale. I teach glitch art and dirty new media at the Rome University of Fine Art [RUFA] and I give lectures and presentations about glitch art and related topics at academies, schools and festivals. I am the creator of the online art network and community White Page Gallery/s.
Alex Taek-Gwang Lee (KR)
Alex Taek-Gwang Lee is a professor of cultural studies at Kyung Hee University in South Korea and a visiting professor at Jamia Millia Islamia University in India. He is a member of the advisory board for The International Deleuze and Guattari Studies in Asia, Asia Theories Network and the board member of The International Consortium of Critical Theory (ICCT).
Robert Collings (IE)
Robert Collins is an artist and designer based in Ireland.His work explores the inherent noise and saturation of information in contemporary society, through speculative objects, abstract interfaces and digital ethnography.Recently he has moved into the area of Post-Industrial Design, seeking to explore design methodologies which can empower the public to answer the questions raised by Critical and Speculative Design. He holds an MSc in Interactive Media, where he explored the creation of spaces for adversarial discussion and common ground.
Roisin Kiberd (IE, DE)
Roisin Kiberd is a writer from Dublin, currently living (on and off) in Berlin. Her essays and journalism on technology and culture have been published in the Dublin Review, the White Review, the Stinging Fly, the Guardian, Vice and others. Her first book, The Disconnect, will be published by Serpent's Tail in March 2021.
Ricardo Castellini DaSilva (BR, IE)
Dr Ricardo Castellini da Silva is a media literacy educator with an interest in studies and practices at the interface between education and communications, especially in relation to digital media, multimodal learning and new literacy studies. His research investigates the many ways in which new digital technologies can be used to promote media literacy for secondary students and enhance teachers’ practices in the use of technology in the classroom. Since 2015, Ricardo has been designing and delivering workshops on media literacy to both teachers and students in secondary schools in Ireland. He also teaches on undergraduate and graduate programmes at both Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin. Ricardo holds a PhD in Media Literacy from Dublin City University, and a MA in Media, Culture and Education from the Institute of Education, University College London
Kerry Guinan (IE)
Kerry Guinan is a conceptual artist based in Limerick, Ireland. Her multi-disciplinary practice
critiques capitalist relations through interventions, performances, and digital media. She also writes, curates, consults, teaches, and organises politically. Recent projects include a residency in Bill Drummond’s Curfew Tower in Antrim (2019), the curation of TULCA Festival of Visual Arts: TACTICAL MAGIC (2019) in Galway, and the solo exhibition ‘Our Celestial Sphere’ at Pallas Projects/Studios, Dublin (2019). Upcoming projects include a public art commission for The Museum of Everyone, Offaly and exhibitions at Rua Red, Dublin, the Glucksman, Cork, and Govan Project Space, Glasgow.
In 2018, Guinan was awarded the Arts Council of Ireland’s prestigious Next Generation Award to develop her practice. She is currently a research scholar at the Limerick School of Art and Design where she is developing the practice of relational socialist realism: an artistic methodology that gives form to global social relations.
Rahul Mukherjee ( IN )
Rahul Mukherjee is Associate Professor of Television and New Media at the Cinema Studies Program, University of Pennsylvania. His first monograph Radiant Infrastructures: Media, Environment, and Cultures of Uncertainty was recently published by Duke University Press. Rahul’s research related to critical infrastructure studies, environmental media, platform studies, and mobile phone cultures has been published in Media, Culture & Society, Journal of Visual Culture, and Science, Technology & Human Values. He is part of the editorial collective of the Journal of Visual Culture and the advisory editorial board of Media+Environment. At Penn, Rahul is part of the Digital Humanities and the Environmental Humanities initiatives.
David Quiles Guilló (ES)
david quiles guilló. born artist in 1973. now also tech entrepreneur, curator, writer, composer and full publisher at large with a family. right now: working on a new project, incubated by telefónica's open future alicante, and warming the jets for the 5th edition of the wrong biennale. founder and director of: - The Wrong Tv (since 2o2o) live streaming exhibitions & love - 7tNbjV (since 2017) releasing abstract literature graphic novels and art projects as paperback books - Abstract Editions (since 2o15) publishing house to deliver the new abstract literature genre printed to the world - The Wrong Biennale (since 2o13) the most compelling digital art biennale ever - Nova (from 2o1o to 2o12) a contemporary culture festival - Rojo® (from 2oo1 to 2o11) a visual magazine & platform to promote creativity and visual art lectures & workshops in many institutions since 2oo1; mis museum for image and sound, sesc paulista, sesc pompeia and cinemateca brasileira in são paulo, sesc copacabana and eav parque lage in rio de janeiro, centre d’art santa monica, elisava school for arts & hangar in barcelona, european cultural foundation in rotterdam, university of málaga, casino luxembourg, arco art fair in madrid, instituto cervantes in nyc and casablanca, hagaram design museum in seoul, university of art in linz, pxl-mad school of arts in hasselt, and saic, school of the art institute of chicago, to mention a few https://davidquilesguillo.com
Ulises Mejias (US, MX)
Ulises Ali Mejias is professor of communication studies and director of the Institute for Global Engagement at SUNY Oswego. His research interests include critical data studies, philosophy and sociology of technology, and political economy of digital media. Ulises' work has appeared in various journals in his field and he is the author of "Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World" (2013, University of Minnesota Press) and, with Nick Couldry, of "The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating it for Capitalism" (2019, Stanford University Press). Ulises is co-founder of Tierra Común (tierracomun.net), a network of activists, citizens and scholars working towards the decolonization of data, and he is in the process of launching a Non-Aligned Technologies Movement (nonalignedtech.net). He serves on the board of Humanities New York, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. ulisesmejias.com.
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu
More information about the empyre