The Web Politics Trilogy by Disnovation.org presents a critical mapping of the ongoing online culture wars and the strategies of influencing, while exposing Big Tech companies as central political agents. In its three parts, the project combines online, media and installation techniques.
Online Culture Wars is a map overlay of hundreds of politicized memes, along with influential political figures and symbols. It is designed as a discussion starter, intended to visualize and contextualize the ongoing online culture wars, and some of the main political references, actors, and influencers.
From Twitter to Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Gab, or 4chan, one of the by-products of online culture wars is the over-politicization of seemingly mundane topics, products, practices, and cultural elements. In recent years, online cultures have been subjected to a growing polarization, politicization and radicalization, influenced by numerous actors, and magnified by the very features of ubiquitous social networks. This cartography offers a representation of online ideological and political frictions, integrated into the visual system of a Political Compass meme.
The Persuadables focuses on the political instrumentalization of the tools, techniques, and infrastructures of the web, with a particular attention to the social media influence ecosystem, and the online manipulation of opinion.
Ubiquitous social networks gave rise to new types of practices, new forms of expression, and new means for collective organization of protest and discord. In this context, the manipulation of public opinion over social media platforms has emerged as a critical threat to public life. The video piece exposes key practices of online propaganda, as well as creative responses that they triggered in the civil society.
Profiling the Profilers is a botnet-based trolling campaign. It seizes the means of data analytics to create a series of psychological, cultural and political profiles of the most data-extractivist Big Tech companies of our time. A custom-made algorithm exploits big data analysis techniques to extract hidden correlations from publicly available datasets (ie. Wikipedia).
These automated actions will result in a series of highly detailed, and biased, digital profiles of Big Tech, similar to the ones constantly generated for each user by these very same companies. This counter-profiling data will be continuously released on a dedicated platform as notifications, optimized for social media sharing by each visitor.
The project was developed during a residency with m-cult in May-June 2019 and the trilogy will premiere at the Network Effects exhibition at Oodi Helsinki, 17.11.-1.12.2019. The residency and exhibition are realized in context of the European Media Art Network EMAP programme supported by Creative Europe programme.