[ISEA2020] Paper: Kevin T. Day — The Mattering of Algorithms: Reading the Media Performance of Erica Scourti through Originary Technicity


Keywords: originary technicity, algorithms, language, materiality, digital media, performance, Erica Scourti

Against the anthropocentric binaries such as human/machine, subject/object, mind/body, this paper will offer a counter argument through the theory of originary technicty, which advances the perspective that humans have always been mediated, and as such, the privileged position of the human and its exclusive claim on agency and consciousness needs to be questioned. This perspective will be followed by an examination of the media-facilitated performance of artist Erica Scourti. Through a comparative reading with the work of playwright Samuel Beckett, the paper argues that Scourti’s performance asserts the entanglement of the human and algorithmic/linguistic and questions the boundary between the two.

  • Kevin T. Day, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Kevin Day’s practice and research, encompassing sound, video, text, graph, and media installations, examine digital media polemics such as algorithmic culture, digital epistemology, big data, mediation, immaterial labour, cyber control, post-human concerns, and information capitalism. Informed by philosophy of technology, media studies, and critical theory, the research articulates an urgency of questioning the ubiquitous logic of framing the world through information, indicative of a cybernetic way of knowing. His practice seeks to resist the reduction of codification through an insistence on the presence of noise in the interface, which persists within the signals in the capitalist communication industry. Day was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He received his MFA from the University of British Columbia and is currently based in Vancouver. He has presented his work and research nationally and internationally, at locations such as the Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), Creative Media Centre (Hong Kong), Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus), Free Word Centre (London), University of Hamburg (Hamburg), Qubit (New York), and Gallery 1313 (Toronto), among others. He has authored several published articles on topics such as digital memories, information capital, sound, technology, and cyber politics. His work has been generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). daykevin.com