Next week I’ll be giving an invited talk at the University of Arizona’s School of Information, Science, Technology, and the Arts (SISTA). The talk is titled ‘How Software Prescribes Behavior: Recent Artistic Projects and Research’. In case you’re nearby, it’s on October 10th at 12pm in Gould-Simpson rm. 829. Here’s my abstract:
At the heart of computational technology is software, a human-designed yet immaterial object that gives technologies agency and enables them to interact with others. I focus on the cultural, social, and political effects of this software. What does it mean for human creativity when a computational system can paint its own artworks? How is an interface that foregrounds our friend count changing our conceptions of friendship? Why do we become emotionally attached to software systems and what does this attachment enable for those who made them? To examine questions like these, I construct interactive experiences, machines, and interventions that make the familiar unfamiliar, revealing the ways that software prescribes our behavior and thus, how it changes who we are. In this talk I will present an overview of my recent research around this topic, and will discuss the resulting artworks I have generated in response.