Closing remarks
By Stefanie Hessler and Lars Bang Larsen

As screen-based, networked digital technologies are seemingly a precondition for participation in contemporary everyday life, algorithms have become highly agentic semi-presences that massage our psyches, subjectivities and social systems.

The symposium, The Digital Divide, in three parts pushes algorithms into plain sight and considers their production and use as political acts, raising questions about claims to infrastructural neutrality, and highlighting programmed bias and resulting social injustice.

At the closing remarks of the symposium, Lars Bang Larsen, joint director and head of artistic research of art hub Copenhagen, made a summary of each contribution by concluding that “between the continued idealization of the internet as the democratic and egalitarian, and as a post-racial space, and, on the other hand, the urgent call for reckoning with algorithmic oppression, there is a space to claim agency and take back attention.” Stefanie Hessler, the initiator of the project while she was director of Kunsthal Trondheim and currently director of Swiss Institute in New York, stressed the importance of discussing the biased, racialized, and gendered dimensions of technology and data collections, of tending to the technologies and platforms of the attention economy as well as the ways in which they go beyond the initial interfaces of technologies. As she put it, “technology in a digital divide and in the attention economy, calls for analysis, but also consideration of rage and spectatorship, resistance and activism.”


THE DIGITAL DIVIDE symposium was the launching event of the series of programs of the 2-year Creative Europe project ATTENTION AFTER TECHNOLOGY, a cross-border collaboration between Kunsthall Trondheim (@kunsthalltrondheim), Art Hub Copenhagen (@art_hub_copenhagen), Tropical Papers (@tropicalpapers_), State of Concept Athens (@stateofconceptathens) and Swiss Institute (@swissinstitute), funded by the European Union.