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Reimagining algorithmic governance cultural expressions and the negotiation of social imaginaries

Pötzsch, Holger and Pereira, Gabriel (2022) Reimagining algorithmic governance cultural expressions and the negotiation of social imaginaries. In: Proceedings of the 12th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI 2022): Participative Computing for Sustainable Futures. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY. ISBN 9781450396998

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Identification Number: 10.1145/3546155.3547298


This paper investigates the means through which a series of artistic works invite critical responses to algorithmic governance and the systems of surveillance and data capture these draw upon. In combining the theoretical frameworks of Cornelius Castoriadis, Jacques Ranciére, and Chantal Mouffe, we conceptualize how, and to what possible effects, art can engage politics and focus the discussion on concrete techniques through which selected works and performances question contemporary systems of algorithm-based management and control. Firstly, we offer an introduction to Cornelius Castoriadis's [13] theoretical framework regarding an imaginary institution and reproduction of society. So far, his concepts have been treated in a rather metaphorical manner in the literature on algorithmic governance and we set out to provide a thorough theoretical grounding of this valuable framework. We then add Jacques Ranciére's [49, 51] concept of a distribution of the sensible and draw upon Chantal Mouffe's [47] theories of art, democracy, and hegemony to account for art's political function. As a second step, we focus on specific media artworks that respond to concrete instances of algorithmic governance by defamiliarizing and transgressing received social imaginaries to enable an active reshaping of received technologies and sedimented practices. We identify and illustrate a selection of tactics available to artists to question and contain these increasingly automated systems; including appropriating, rejecting, inverting (perspectives, scales, values/norms), and creating alternatives. We show how these tactics are deployed to invite a subversion and reimagination of dominant algorithmic imaginaries and the specific frames of sensing, speaking, and doing they imply. Our objective is to give an overview of available artistic tactics, and to facilitate further research of, and critical engagements with, algorithmic forms of governance and their enactments of surveillance and automation. Through our inquiry, we hope to contribute to a further development of critical media literacy practices in art and higher education that can facilitate a creative reimagination and reshaping of the socio-technical systems that become increasingly constitutive of contemporary identities and societies.

Item Type: Book Section
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Additional Information: © 2022 ACM.
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2022 14:24
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 23:21

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