In the year 2021, we can no longer afford to feign that technology is neutral. The difference between ‘real’ and ‘not real’ becomes increasingly muddled in these times of deepfake videos and post-truth politics. Algorithms facilitate a web of lies, with direct consequences for society and democracy. Just think of the recent storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters, partly attributed to the largescale dissemination of QAnon theories by algorithms.
Driving those algorithms is the shadowy business model of a handful of all-powerful big tech companies. Platforms such as Facebook and Google extract data from users to then use these data to offer them a personalized experience – and to influence them. With our click behavior we build our own mirror palace, a hyper-personalized parallel universe. To speak in Matrix-terms: we can no longer choose between the red and the blue pill, between the truth and blissful ignorance. Only the blue pill is available.
This week, Ine Gevers will elaborate on the new exhibition Fake me Hard, on show from June 30 till August 15. How do we survive the post-truth society? Are people in control, or are algorithms and AI taking over? Will they be the new gods? Do they determine what is fact or fiction? Are human narratives slowly becoming irrelevant?
Ine Gevers is director of the Niet Normaal INT Foundation, mounting largescale art exhibitions on topical issues: Niet Normaal (2009/10), Ja Natuurlijk (2013), Hacking Habitat (2016), Robot Love (2018), (Im)Possible Bodies (2020). She is editor /author of Beyond Ethics and Aesthetics (SUN, 1997); Difference on Display (2009); Yes Naturally (NAi010, 2013); Hacking Habitat (NAi010, 2016), Robot Love (Terra, 2018). 3d experience online: www.impossiblebodies.nl, www.nietnormaal.nl, www.inegevers.net.
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