Exhibition at HUB Gallery, Opening Wednesday 15/Apr 6pm

The New Black

Project by Alexander Porter, Eva Papamargariti, FIELD, Isabella Streffen, Sebastian Schmieg, Rick Silva, Sabrina Ratté and Kim Asendorf

The New Black

She woke up, not really remembering when she had laid down.
She had been working overtime for the past while.
The blinds were up and the grey had set in.
Looking over to the clock, the led digits blink 6:37…
Nearly time…
She lay there looking at the ceiling.

I could get up, start early on some content I guess.

She closed her eyes again.

her alarm sounded
She got up.
She looked at her device.
When had she turned it off?
It was never off, always in sleep mode.
They must have updated.
It had become common in the past month.
New devices had been sent out and the software hadn’t been compatible.
There had been many updates about it.
They had promised another.
Hopefully that was it.
Sitting down to her station, she turned the device on.
It booted up, glowing in the early morning grey haze.
The coffee machine started behind her.

It was always a bit slow to start in the morning.
But she didn’t mind.
She liked to take her time.
Quality content was what they preferred now.
The recommendations about Time-Based Content Trending from the latest bulletins had been useful.
Her latest strategy was to examine and look for common characteristics among grouped content over long durations.
Then she would move these groups to the relevant platforms.
Her work as a content wrangler was a recent promotion from her previous role where she would clean and filter content.
It allowed her to monitor her dashboard over several devices and move from her station throughout the day.

It hadn’t always been like this.
Tech trends led to a stabilised economy.
Progression in [3D] printing, the surge in popularity of plugin culture, along with evolutionary programming all contributed to bring different conditions for work.
Algorithms were streamlined, made everything more efficient.
At least things were more manageable now.
She smirked.

The buzzer on the coffee machine sounded.
She picked up the cup and returned to her station.
Back then data and information had been seen as a playful pursuit and users had contributed for free.
People had been so consumed with the economies of the self and looking to the future.
But that slowly changed over time.
They didn’t have the right algorithms back then.
They still hadn’t figured the predication to action ratio.
Algorithms were more robust now.
Algorithms of fate as lower level users called them.
They calculated everything for you.
Depending on emotion, mood and they were synced community wise at regular intervals.
Things were better this way.
There was order and clarity.
She looked at her screen.
The sun was breaking through the haze.
She looked down, searching for her portable device.
She picked it up, looked at the black screen and powered it on.

 

In an age of mass communication and collaborative media we are often told that digital platforms provide us with opportunities to empower ourselves and gain control. Tools developed by open source communities offer the resources and means to control aspects of user privacy, browsing behaviour and activities.

In contrast, the commercial development of technical systems beyond the screen is driven by the economical management of user data. Social platforms track, store and record user actions, emotions and interactions for financial purposes of selling, promoting and delivering a individualised filtered online experience.

These conflicting forces create new conditions that make up the social and civic infrastructures that we live in. The New Black presents a narrative that aims to discuss how we resolve to live and work with conflicting intersections of commerce and our day to day lives.

The New Black features work from:

Alexander Porter, Eva PapamargaritiFIELD, Isabella Streffen, Kim AsendorfRick SilvaSabrina Ratté and Sebastian Schmieg, Curated by Nora O’ Murchú for Resonate 2015