Announcements Blog 4: Filter Bubbles

Seeing Ourselves and Filtering

Thanks to Medea, we had a fun (funny) and engaging tour of self-representation in the digital age, stopping to consider #selfie culture, filters, and presentation of the self in everyday digitally-facilitated life.

Selfie Culture

We spoke together about how selfies may capture the essence of vanity and commercialism, but how selfies may also be vehicles for self-proclamation and empowerment. In seeing ourselves through self-crafted and filtered representations, we come to see ourselves anew. We might perform versions of the self in order to discover new realities for oneself. And we look to the public audience to know who we can be.

Technological filters

We also considered the distinction between both technological and cultural filters. In reading a bit of Jill Walker Rettberg’s work on the topic, we discussed the ways in which technological filters allow us to express ourselves in certain ways but not in others, and how algorithms filter our content by extracting and/or altering our data. What is filtered out? What do the data patterns and data analysis miss? In a world where there is far more data than we can possibly use, we must think of the ways we are being directed to see.

Cultural filters

In the same breath, we must also grapple with the impact of our own culturally determined filters. The cultural filters of our own ideological values eliminate so many possible modes of perception and expression. We are often not even aware of all the things we do not see. How do our own cultural filters affect our daily choices? What do miss because we didn’t think to look or pay attention?

Studio Visit from Kelli Hayes

A sincere thanks to former student and alumna Kelli Hayes for speaking with us a bit about her own MA thesis work on participatory trends in current digital culture. Kelli explained that as technological capability has evolved, so, too, have the modes through which identity can be constructed and self-expressed. This is clearly a moment of always being “plugged in”. Kelli’s work argues that these convergences of socialization, of self, and of technology have led to an emergence of new forms of self-representation as well as of forms of aesthetic presentation. Kelli has argued that a focused exploration of this shifting ideology of self and how it is represented through aesthetic forms may reveal a reemergence of Dada ideals. If you haven’t already, please do check our her work entitled “Degenerates Gallery“.

Your “to-do” list:

We are taking a deeper dive into the implications of filters with the next set of readings/viewings that Nives will walk us through.

Please read:

The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser.  Penguin Press, 2011. Chapter 2

We are building a dystopia just to make people click on ads. TED talk by Zeyneb Tufekci, 2017. 

We will have some fun activities planned for Part 2 of class after Nives’ presentation that will help us synthesize this work.

Please blog about this material, and see you in the Net Mirror on Thursday!

Dr. Zamora

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