Hosted by Lab for Media Search
Power, authority and influence increasingly rely on information networks. Although networks seem to have abolished the old hierarchical structures, such structures are now recast through networking effects that reproduce the power divide between central actors and peripheral content. The race for visibility, both for ranking high in search engines and for accumulating influence in social networking platforms, produces an implicit behaviour of accumulation of links or ‘friends’. The resulting ‘self-referentiality’ is aimed at confirming one’s own position in the network and linking to actors who are always already central. The power gained by connections to and from these centres overrules most of peripheral connectivity and suppresses the potential for dissent within a sphere of influence. This social phenomenon directly accounts for the creation of new public spheres of a global order, which include the production of borders between these spheres.
Exodus is the compound name for a ‘research engine’ into algorithms and visual strategies for searching the internet, revealing the structural properties of web content and its inherent distribution of influence. Exodus promotes bridging behaviour across the web’s new borders of power.
- Metahaven (Amsterdam and Brussels, metahaven.net) is a design research collective founded in 2006, it consists of Vinca Kruk, Daniel van der Velden & Gon Zifroni. Their work connects graphic design and architecture, and is concerned with their political and ideological interdependencies. metahaven.net
- For Exodus they collaborated with Tsila Hassine (information artist and developer, Israel), Maurits de Bruijn (web developer, Rotterdam, NL), Edward Zimmermann & Norbert Poëllmann (search engineers, BSn.com, Munich, DE), Florian Schneider (Kein.org, Munich, DE) and Zhou Xiangdong (information retrieval scientist, Fudan University, China).