Algorithms by Body: Exploring Polyphonic Reading Through the Protocols of the Machine

  • with Goda KlumbytÄ—
  • (2019)

This workshop was an abstract embodied algorithmic reading where rules for interaction were defined towards finding what different kinds of algorithmics (algoRHYTHMics) would be possible. We challenged the modes of engagement of the human and of the machine, and looked for synergies and productive cyborgian cross-pollinations. We began from the premise that our reading and seeing is always already virtual, because, cognitively, we see something that is not actually there - our brain fabricates separate elements into a coherent whole of an object. Humans always already have a lens: we already have a perspective based on the mechanics of the body, therefore our point of view is very different from the machines’.

The experiment we did with the group was concerned with overwriting our operating system. While the construction of ever more mechanic points of view increases with advancement of hot new tech, there is a very real re-inscription of human bigotry into the machines (just think of the algorithmic biases regarding race, class, gender, etc.). But there is also a potential for the machinic to not be imbued with white-centered, ableist, trans*phobic and xenophobic views. Machines have the potential to not carry our cultural conditioning by virtue of being other and having other modes.

In this reading group/activity we will practiced becoming-machine and engaging with a structured algorithmic reading in order to probe the potentials of these different forms.