[-empyre-] Welcome to Week 2: Week 2 Social Media: algorithms, untruths and insurrection

Renate Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Tue Feb 9 02:22:16 AEDT 2021

Thanks to Ben, Tim, Leo, Domenico, Geert, Simon, and Alan for responding to our discussion during week 1.  As Tim mentioned, there are paradoxes in the layers of technical, social,  political and personal stakes when it comes to the phenomena of Social Media.  As we head into Week 2 Social Media:  algorithms, untruths and insurrection my hope is we can peel back more layers and also talk espcially about the political realities that are before us this week. 

Welcome to Ana Valdés, our longtime -empyre- subscriber and modertor.  Ana has been a champion of toggling the political with the artistic.  Also to our friend Geert Lovink who brilliantly cataloged his five-year plan that I keep going back to re-read.  Hoping that he will continue to talk more in depth about a few of these tactics and their implementation.  And to our new friends, Derek Curry who is a new age tactical artist in every sense of the word and 
Jennifer Gradecki whose work delves into the sociological side of things.  Both Derek and Jennifer were featured in Alenda Cheng's topic on gaming a little more than a year ago so we welcome them back again.  

So looking forward to hearing from each of our guests this week.  Each of their bios are below. 

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 (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 



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