AlgorithmAn algorithm, in a nutshell, is a step-by-step guide to solving a problem. It’s a set of instructions, like a recipe. Computer algorithms are sets of rules for calculations that take historical data and predict future successful outcomes.
How does the performativity of algorithms relate to that of bodies? And how may performative artistic practices contribute to a rethinking of the interrelations between bodies and the discourses, histories, technologies, practices, and networks they are actualized within and entangled with? Through the notion of “algorithm,” which titles this publication, we wish to explore further the complex interconnections of algorithmic information processing, technical infrastructures, the performativity of bodies and bacteria as well as cultural scripts, or codes.
Thinking the algorithmic and performative together is a way of destabilizing clear distinctions between the so-called human and non-human by turning attention to how both bodies and technologies perform in a chiastic structure making it impossible to discern, which it is that operates what. Reading the algorithmic and performative together is a way of tuning in to the means of connection between bodies, machines, software, hardware, and social contexts. There is no universal formula for this connection, only varying articulations and embodied relations, which the works included in the publication attest to.
At the center of the book are the contributions by artists Lauren Lee McCarthy, Jenna Sutela, Anna Lundh, Tabita Rezaire, and Linda Hilfling Ritasdatter exploring performativity and algorithmic culture from different perspectives. Via the artists’ works we move in and out of these different perspectives in five chapters, from smart homes and AI’s use of algorithmic predictions via microbial computation to obsolete technologies and their social choreographies; from ideas of body-to-body-transmission and so-called indigenous forms of knowledge to the technological basis of code execution and maintenance work.
Edited by Anne Kølbæk Iversen and Lotte Løvholm
With contributions from Lauren Lee McCarthy, Jenna Sutela, Anna Lundh, Tabita Rezaire and Linda Hilfling Ritasdatter.
Design: Mathias Kokholm.
Cover: Jenna Sutela, with Vincent de Belleval and
Johanna Lundberg, Gut-Machine Poetry, 2017.
Print: Strandbygaard, Skjern, Danmark
The publication is kindly supported by Aarhus
University Research Foundation.