Sean Dockray: Performing Algorithms: Automation and Accident (2019)

22 November 2019, dusan

Performing Algorithms: Automation and Accident investigates how artists might stage encounters with the algorithms driving our post-industrial, big-data-based, automatic society. Several important theories of this contemporary condition are discussed, including control societies, post-industrial societies, the automatic society, the cybernetic hypothesis, and algorithmic governmentality. These concepts are interwoven with histories of labour and automation, recent developments in machine learning and neural networks, and my own past work.

Through a series of expanded lecture performances that describe our algorithmic condition while setting it into motion, this research seeks to discover ways in which to advance new critical positions within a totalizing technical apparatus whose very design preempts it. The included creative works have been performed, exhibited, and published between 2014 and 2018. They are made available online through an artificially intelligent chatbot, a frequent figure in the research, which here extends the concerns of that research through to how the work is framed and presented.

The thesis focuses on both generative art and the lecture performance, which converge in performing algorithms but are generally not discussed in connection with one another. They emerged in parallel as artistic methods, however, at a time when management and computation were taking root in the workplace in the 1960s. Furthermore, as the Internet became widespread from the 1990s, generative art and the lecture performance each found renewed prominence.

With human language and gesture increasingly modelling itself on the language of computation and work constantly reshaped by the innovations of capital, this project identifies “not working” both in terms of the technological breakdown and also as a condition of labour under automation. A discussion of the first fatal accident involving a self-driving vehicle illustrates this dual condition. Shifting from glitch art’s preoccupation with provoking errors to a consideration of not working, this research proposes artistic strategies that learn to occupy rather than display the accident.”

PhD dissertation
Publisher Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne, 2019
146 pages

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Peter Jakobsson: Öppenhetsindustrin / Openness Industry (2012) [Swedish]

30 April 2013, dusan

“Over recent decades several competing descriptions of the media and cultural industries have been put forward. The media and cultural industries have been described as creative industries, copyright industries, and as constitutive of an experience economy. One key element in these descriptions has been the importance of copyright law in a postindustrial economy.

The present study is an analysis of an emerging idea of an industry that functions, in part, outside of the market created by copyright law, and by exploiting, or by building markets on top of, digital, cultural and informational commons. The study is about how this idea is expressed in various forms by business organisations, companies, consultants and policymakers. I have invented the concept of the openness industry to denote the businesses that these organisations and policy makers claim are forerunners and promoters of the idea of ‘openness’ as a business model for the media industry. The purpose of the thesis is to analyse the governmentality and ideology of the openness industry.

A key element in the idea of the openness industry is that internet users can be persuaded to produce symbolic products for it by other means than the economic incentives provided by copyright. Another key element is the high value placed on single individuals in the creation of economic value; but in contrast to how the copyright industries are thought to be dependent on ‘authors’, the openness industry relies on the ‘entrepreneur’. Previous notions of the media and cultural industries have given publishers and producers of film, music and games a central role.The companies that are seminal to the idea of the openness industry are internet and technology companies.” (Abstract)

Doctoral thesis
Media and Communication, Örebro University, Sweden, 2012
Supervisors: Göran Bolin, Mats Ekström
ISBN 9789176688533
209 pages

commentary (Jonas Andersson, in Swedish)

publisher

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Cornelia Vismann: Files: Law and Media Technology (2000/2008)

23 January 2013, dusan

Quod non est in actis, non est in mundo. (What is not on file is not in the world.) Once files are reduced to the status of stylized icons on computer screens, the reign of paper files appears to be over. With the epoch of files coming to an end, we are free to examine its fundamental influence on Western institutions. From a media-theoretical point of view, subject, state, and law reveal themselves to be effects of specific record-keeping and filing practices. Files are not simply administrative tools; they mediate and process legal systems. The genealogy of the law described in Vismann’s Files ranges from the work of the Roman magistrates to the concern over one’s own file, as expressed in the context of the files kept by the East German State Security. The book concludes with a look at the computer architecture in which all the stacks, files, and registers that had already created order in medieval and early modern administrations make their reappearance.”

Originally published in German as Akten. Medientechnik und Recht, Fischer, Frankfurt am Main, 2000

Translated by Geoffrey Winthrop-Young
Publisher Stanford University Press, 2008
Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics series
ISBN 080475151X, 9780804751513
187 pages

Review (Liam Cole Young, Theory, Culture & Society)

Publisher

PDF (7 MB, updated on 2016-12-23)