Panel: Sniff, Scrape, Crawl: Part 1
Profiles on social networking sites make it easier for algorithms to analyze us, and the information we voluntarily share with people can also be seen as a form of participatory surveillance. Connected through constant update messages, pictures and the possibility of immediate response, we become subject to the feedback of our circle of friends. When communicating online we not only conform to the rules of the platform we use, but also seem to control and govern each other by always keeping an eye on each others thoughts and actions. Just as we need to define what we are comfortable with showing and sharing, we are also responsible for managing our multitude of identities before and amongst a mediated public. However, within the mainly visually oriented environment of social networks, we can never be sure who is hidden, visible and actually watching. Instead we are left to discover our sense of privacy through making choices within a set of binary options and as a result experience the limitations of online social spaces. Openness can be mistaken for over-exposure and reticence might evoke suspicion. In an economy of sharing and being shared, my talk will ask if screen-based technologies are the only key to our social life or are there possible ways of escaping the never-ending feedback loop.
- Birgit Bachler is an Austrian new media artist living, working, and studying in Rotterdam (NL). She holds a BA in Information Design/Media & Interaction Design and is currently studying at the Piet Zwart Institute, Master Media Design and Communication: Networked Media (Rotterdam). She has a background in interactive, audiovisual media and programming, and her past research has focused on the influence of emergent media on our everyday lives and how technology influences and manipulates social behavior. Bachler’s recent work features a dating-like website built upon grocery shopping data, an alternative map of Rotterdam based on people’s window decorations and a location-based social network of audible content. birgitbachler.com/portfolio
Full text (PDF) p. 159-161