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CfH Lectures


This presentation is introduced by Maria Hlavajova.

Algorithmic vision is about the understanding of vast amount of data according to a specific vector: it may be about common patterns of behavior in social media, suspicious keywords in surveillance networks, buying and selling tendencies in stock markets or the oscillation of temperature in a specific region of the planet. The eye of the algorithm blindly records emerging properties and forecasts tendencies out of large data set. Such procedures of computation are pretty repetitive and robotic and they generally operate along two main functions: pattern recognition and anomaly detection. The two epistemic poles of pattern and anomaly are the two sides of the same coin of algorithmic governance. An unexpected anomaly can be detected only against the ground of a pattern regularity. And conversely a pattern emerges only through the median equalization of different tendencies. Here mathematics starts to resound immediately as a new epistemology of power.

Matteo Pasquinelli gave this presentation as part of the Algorithmic Cultures and Security event organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht within the series of presentations, conversations, seminars, and workshops Posthuman Glossary. The series takes place in the form of intensive two-day gatherings with artists, scholars, and activists around the critical issues of posthumanity in present-day artistic and intellectual work. Posthuman Glossary is a part of BAK’s research program Future Vocabularies (2014–2016) and its chapter Human-Inhuman-Posthuman, which is developed in dialogue with BAK Research Fellow Professor Rosi Braidotti and organized in collaboration with the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. The series leads to the publishing of the Posthuman Glossary in 2016, edited by Braidotti and BAK’s Artistic Director Maria Hlavajova.