[-empyre-] Welcome to Week 3: Social Media: algorithms, untruths and insurrection

Ricardo Castellini ricardocastellini at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 20:19:01 AEDT 2021

Hello all,

 A great pleasure to be here. Very nice discussions and I have been
learning a lot.

I am a media literacy educator and my work is currently focused on
disinformation and new literacy studies for young people. My academic
background is from media and communications, not tech or art, but of
course due to this overwhelming digital media environment I have
increasingly been drawn to the tech world.

I have been designing and delivering media literacy courses and
workshops, especially for teenagers, and when it comes to discussing
topics such as disinformation, surveillance and the role of
algorithms, I think there has been too much emphasis on the technical
side of the question, instead of a more nuanced approached that also
encompasses a broader understanding of the politics and the
sociocultural basis around these issues.

It is definitely important to teach kids how to research online, find
reliable sources, avoid digital traps, spot ‘fake news’ (I know this
expression is problematic) and so on… But this is far from enough, and
it seems to me that media educators around the world are only now
beginning to understand that. Kids are not attracted to false stories,
conspiracy theories and extremist groups because they are simply
stupid or lack a technical skill; there’s much more involved in that.
And Media literacy education should start focusing on that.

I was happy to see Jon’s work with transmedia knowledge and civic
storytelling involving young people, that’s exactly what I see as a
perfect combination of education and digital media to achieve ‘praxis’
in a Freirean sense. I have been doing something similar with
Transition Year students (15/16yo) in Bridge21, Trinity College
Dublin. In this place students create various digital artefacts
(videos, photo stories, animation, digital magazines etc.), and the
focus is not on the technical skills, but on the development of
critical thinking, civic engagement and collaborative practices.

This brings me to another point that I think is worth mentioning here:
activism in media literacy education. I have always believed in the
neutrality of my work as an educator – not literal neutrality, of
course, because it doesn’t exist, but the idea that I am not in the
classroom to proselytize and make people believe in what I want them
to believe. I like students to think for themselves and I act as a
facilitator. However, in this new situation of surveillance capitalism
and all the issues stemming from that, I am re-thinking my role as an
educator. Even though I still believe that the purpose of my work is
not to impose ideas on anyone, we are living in very dangerous time
and if we don’t act now to stop the accumulation of power by tech
companies and the circulation of malicious and damaging stories, we
might end up in a dystopian world very soon.

All the best,


On Tue, 16 Feb 2021 at 00:33, Renate Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hello -empyreans-
> Many thanks to our Week 2 guests:  Ana Valdés, Derek Curry, Jennifer Gradecki, and Geert Lovink.  Also, thanks to our subscribers:  Brian Holmes, Jon McKenzie and Amanda McDonald Crowley for joining in as participants.  We appreciate all of your contributions and we hope that if your schedule permits that you will continue to post through Week 3.
> We welcome long-time subscriber Alex Taek-Gwang Lee for joining us once again on -empyre-.  We always love to have Alex share with us his perspectives especially on the pulse of things in South Korea and Asia.  A warm welcome to our new subscribers:
>  Paul O’Neill, Domenico Barra, Robert Collins, Roisin Kiberd, Ricardo Castellini Da Silva, and Kerry Guinan. Their biographies are listed below.
> Looking forward to hearing more about each of your research areas and work as relates to this topic and extending our discussion.
> Best, Renate
> 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.
> www.aswemaysink.com
> 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.
> http://www.robbycollins.com
> 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.
> www.kerryguinan.art
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Associate Professor
> Director of Undergraduate Studies
> Department of Art
> Tjaden Hall 306
> rferro at cornell.edu
> _______________________________________________
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