Today’s social media users are constantly confronted by platforms that seek to profile their interests and manipulate their emotions in order to generate never-ending profits. Yet these same platforms have become the world’s de facto communication tools, the mediums through which we connect with each other and learn about the world. How can we better understand – and thus potentially withstand – the ways these systems influence who we are and what we do? What are techniques of resistance in a platform world? This talk will examine these questions through several of the artist’s works that critically intervene in, extract from, and/or reimagine the world’s most profitable tech companies, making possible renewed opportunities for user agency over the software platforms we engage with every day.
Ben Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that examine the cultural, social, and political effects of software. Recent exhibition venues include the Barbican Centre in London, Museum Kesselhaus in Berlin, Museu das Comunicações in Lisbon, and Galerie Charlot in Paris. His works have been featured in The New Yorker, Wired, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Washington Post, El País, Libération, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Der Spiegel. The Chicago Tribune called him the "unrivaled king of ominous gibberish". Slate referred to his work as "creative civil disobedience in the digital age". Grosser’s artworks are regularly cited in books investigating the cultural effects of technology, including The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, The Metainterface, Critical Code Studies, and Technologies of Vision, as well as volumes centered on computational art practices such as Electronic Literature, The New Aesthetic and Art, and Digital Art. Grosser is an associate professor in the School of Art + Design, and co-founder of the Critical Technology Studies Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Tactics & Practice, the discursive cultural programme dedicated to contemporary investigative art, society and new technologies that has been held regularly in Ljubljana since 2010, this year brings together the efforts and resources of various local institutions to offer a transdisciplinary programme focused on the theme of 'New Extractivism'.
The event is part of a series of solo exhibitions, artist talks, workshops and publications of four internationally renowned artists, presented by Aksioma – Institute of Contemporary Art in collaboration with MGML/Cukrarna and Academy of Fine Arts and Design.
The event is free of charge. Registration required. Apply at firstname.lastname@example.org.