CONFERENCE TALK: Imaginative Autonomy in the Automated Economy: Twitter Bots, Creative Distance, and the Algorithmic Contours of Media Form
In April, at the University of Oregon’s “What Is Media?” conference, I presented on the creative algorithm (e.g. Twitter bots) as an emergent media form. Here’s the abstract:
In the context of data culture and its automating influence over present-day life at both macro and micro scales, from high-speed trading and signature strikes to Fitbits and Netflix recommendations, the algorithm has become an unavoidable mode of mediation. Where media criticism has paid much attention to the way algorithms can shape the production, dissemination, and economics of creative media, this paper will theorize the creative algorithm as itself an emergent media form within increasingly automated media and cultural spaces. Taking Twitter bots like Darius Kazemi’s @TwoHeadlines and Ranjit Bhatnagar’s @Pentametron as particularly telling examples, this paper will focus on the algorithm’s capacity to repurpose and refigure creative distance (i.e. between the algorithm’s author, its source materials, and its creative product)—a vital mode of creative intervention into the increasingly automated spaces of media society and contemporary subjectivity.
And here’s the accompanying Powerpoint: