THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
“Who controls the algorithm controls the truth”, a presentation by Katrine K. Pedersen
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.
Katrine K. Pedersen is a specialist in digital culture, an international acclaimed writer and founder of The Human Situation – an online magazine covering the blind spots of the digital revolution. For over a decade, she has worked on exploring the impact of digital transformation, especially on vulnerable youth and marginalised communities in Europe. Titled “Who controls the algorithm controls the truth”, her presentation focuses on the cultural and political power of algorithms. Just as map-making was historically a technological tool used by colonial powers to assert dominance over territories in the physical world, the maps drawn by corporations like Meta, Google, Amazon and a few others have colonised the global digital world, by controlling over information and how it flows. Technology has become a deeply cultural issue and, thus, any kind of solution has to be cultural, and not just infrastructure- or technology-based. In her presentation Katrine K. Pedersen introduces a framework for a digital critique inspired by art.
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.
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.