Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

Smart New World

05 Apr - 10 Aug 2014

5 April – 10 August 2014

Allora & Calzadilla (USA/CU), Xavier Cha (US), Simon Denny (NZ), Aleksandra Domanović (SI), Omer Fast (IL), Christoph Faulhaber (D), Kenneth Goldsmith (USA), International Necronautical Society, Korpys/Löffler (D), Trevor Paglen (USA), Laura Poitras (US), Tabor Robak (US), Santiago Sierra (ES), Taryn Simon (US)

The truth is: Industrial capitalism is transforming itself into digital capitalism. That changes things. The world is ruled by the binary code. In this sen­se the ex­hi­bi­ti­on be­co­mes a re­vea­ling for­mat for how pre­de­ter­mined fu­tures are pro­mo­ted from the per­spec­tive of the di­gi­tal eco­no­my. The uphea­val in the fields of in­for­ma­ti­on and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons tech­no­lo­gy re­vo­lu­tio­nis­ed the busi­ness world and so­cie­ty. Pro­fes­sio­nal self-de­ve­lop­ment and eco­no­mic self-ren­un­cia­ti­on of the “di­gi­tal Bohème” are very clo­se to each other. Com­pu­ta­ti­on and con­nec­tivi­ty per­mea­te mat­ter and ren­der it as raw ma­te­ri­al for al­go­rith­mic pre­dic­tion, or po­ten­ti­al­ly al­so as buil­ding blocks for al­ter­na­te net­works. Per­ma­nent re­ach­abi­li­ty leads to a li­fe in “re­al ti­me”. What does it me­an to be an in­di­vi­du­al in the in­for­ma­ti­on so­cie­ty? An in­for­ma­ti­on so­cie­ty is al­ways al­so a sur­veil­lan­ce so­cie­ty. It is not the in­for­ma­ti­on that yields the sur­veil­lan­ce, the sur­veil­lan­ce yields the in­for­ma­ti­on: As so­on as hu­man ut­ter­an­ces and emo­ti­ons be­co­me quan­ti­fia­ble, they are re­cor­ded in or­der to op­ti­mi­se so­mew­he­re so­me­thing eco­no­mic, bu­reaucra­tic or ideo­lo­gi­cal. Sin­ce Ed­ward Snow­den un­co­ver­ed the wi­de-spread sur­veil­lan­ce car­ried out the Ame­ri­can Na­tio­nal Se­cu­ri­ty Agen­cy at the la­test, the post-pri­va­cy thin­ker is cer­tain of one thing: The pri­va­te sphe­re is dead, the NSA so­le­ly ma­de it of­fi­ci­al. The uni­ma­ginable amount of da­ta strewn by all users of the In­ter­net ha­ve long un­der­mined the pri­va­te sphe­re – even if ma­ny peop­le still li­ve un­der the il­lu­si­on that they can keep their per­so­nal mat­ters for them­sel­ves. An Ame­ri­can wo­man found out that she was pregnant from a con­gra­tu­la­to­ry E-mail sent by her su­per­mar­ket. Cal­cu­la­ti­on mo­dels had fi­gu­red it out ba­sed on her chan­ging buy­ing be­ha­viour – even be­fo­re the wo­man no­ti­ced it hers­elf. Power­ful com­pu­ters so­me­ti­mes know mo­re about us than we do. The sto­r­a­ge ca­pa­bi­li­ty of the­se sys­tems in­crea­ses every ye­ar, con­sis­tent­ly, by or­ders of
ma­gni­tu­de. It's get­ting to the point whe­re you don't ha­ve to ha­ve do­ne any­thing wrong, you just even­tual­ly ha­ve to fall un­der sus­pi­ci­on from some­bo­dy, even if it's by a wrong call, and then they can use the sys­tem to go back in ti­me and sc­ru­ti­ni­ze every de­ci­si­on you've ever ma­de, every fri­end you've ever di­s­cus­sed so­me­thing wi­th, and at­tack you on that ba­sis to sort of de­ri­ve sus­pi­ci­on from an in­no­cent li­fe and paint an­yo­ne in the con­text of a wrong-do­er. The most po­pu­lar of all health apps, Moods­co­pe, is a ba­ro­me­ter me­a­su­ring one’s mood in or­der to prevent de­pres­si­on. The users can eva­lua­te them­sel­ves ever­y­day in 20 “How do you feel to­day?” ca­te­go­ries. The soft­ware then cal­cu­la­tes one’s mood and sends the va­lue to pre­vious­ly de­ter­mined fri­ends per E-mail. Ide­al­ly, they call if a po­ten­ti­al­ly de­pres­sed fri­end is not fee­ling well. As a pie­ce of busi­ness jar­gon, and even mo­re so as an in­vo­ca­ti­on of co­ming dis­rup­ti­on, the term Big Da­ta has quick­ly grown ti­re­so­me. But the­re is no de­ny­ing the vast in­crea­se in the ran­ge and depth of in­for­ma­ti­on that’s rou­ti­nely cap­tu­red about how we be­ha­ve, and the new kinds of ana­ly­sis that this enables. By one esti­ma­te, mo­re than 98 per­cent of the world’s in­for­ma­ti­on is now stored di­gi­tal­ly, and the vo­lu­me of that da­ta has qua­dru­p­led sin­ce 2007. Or­di­na­ry peop­le at work and at ho­me ge­ne­ra­te much of this da­ta, by sen­ding e-mails, brow­sing the In­ter­net, using so­ci­al me­dia, wor­king on crowd-sour­ced pro­jects, and mo­re—and in do­ing so they ha­ve un­wit­tingly hel­ped launch a grand new so­cie­tal pro­ject. We are in the midst of a gre­at in­fra­struc­tu­re pro­ject that in so­me ways ri­vals tho­se of the past, from Ro­man aque­ducts to the En­ligh­ten­ment’s En­cy­clopédie. Know­ledge on the In­ter­net is dy­na­mic. It is flee­ting. It is vo­la­ti­le. It chan­ges its shape every day. We know litt­le about its sour­ces, the in­te­rests stan­ding be­hind it and its re­lia­bi­li­ty. The user of the In­ter­net loo­ses the su­rety and the trust the stand of his know­ledge. Our know­ledge is va­lid on­ly un­til the next click. The tech­no­lo­gy Blog Tech­Hi­ve has cal­cu­la­ted that 4.​73 bil­li­on sheets of pa­per would be ne­cessa­ry to print out the en­t­i­re In­ter­net – a pi­le that would be 492 ki­lo­metres high. For­mer De­fence De­part­ment and in­tel­li­gence agen­cy ex­perts on com­pu­ter vul­nerabi­li­ties are hea­ding to Si­li­con Val­ley to crea­te tech­no­lo­gy start-ups spe­cia­li­zing in tools ai­med at thwar­ting on­line thre­ats; mo­re than $1 bil­li­on in ven­ture fi­nan­cing pou­red in­to se­cu­ri­ty start-ups in 2012. The pie­ce will ex­plo­re the frag­men­ted re­la­ti­ons­hip bet­ween sub­jec­tivi­ty and post-in­dus­tri­al so­cie­ty in a ti­me when self-re­pre­sen­ta­ti­on is in­crea­sin­gly me­dia­ted by the om­ni­pre­sence of di­gi­tal voy­eu­rism. The di­gi­tal re­flec­tion of to­day’s per­son is frag­men­ted in­to hund­reds of in­di­vi­du­al parts. The ve­ri­fi­ca­ti­on of your on­line iden­ti­ty helps us to con­firm that you are a “re­al” per­son. Re­se­ar­chers con­struct a 3-di­men­sio­nal tas­te ma­trix from the re­sults of the­se eva­lua­ti­ons, from which the op­ti­mal part­ners can be read. This ap­proach, the re­se­ar­chers con­clu­de, shows “good per­for­man­ces” wi­th re­gards to the cou­pling of new and al­re­a­dy exis­ting con­tacts – and can al­so be em­ploy­ed in busi­ness net­works, that func­tion very si­mi­lar to flir­ting ser­vices. Con­struc­tion of an in­tel­lec­tu­al pro­per­ty re­gime of the in­for­ma­ti­on eco­no­my, one which is ab­so­lu­te in na­tu­re and tax ba­sed in its im­ple­men­ta­ti­on, has be­gun in ear­nest be­hind our backs. The po­ten­ti­al dan­gers men­tio­ned are all ap­pa­rent, al­beit they may dif­fer in extent. In­for­ma­ti­on wants to be free. In­for­ma­ti­on al­so wants to be ex­pen­si­ve. In­for­ma­ti­on wants to be free be­cau­se it has be­co­me so cheap to di­stri­bu­te, co­py, and re­com­bi­ne – too cheap to me­ter. It wants to be ex­pen­si­ve be­cau­se it can be im­me­a­sur­a­b­ly va­luable to the re­ci­pi­ent. That ten­si­on will not go away.

Sour­ce: In­ter­net Cu­ra­ted by Elo­die Evers

Sour­ce: www.​spiegel.​de/​spiegel/​print/​d-14838490.​html (13.​12.​2013);

Tags: Allora & Calzadilla, Xavier Cha, Simon Denny, Aleksandra Domanovic, Omer Fast, Korpys / Löffler, Li Ming, Trevor Paglen, Laura Poitras, Tabor Robak, Santiago Sierra, Taryn Simon