As part of the week-long residency launch and forthcoming Silicon Valley research by Geneva based artist Lauren Huret, we dig deep into the subject of content moderation with researchers, journalists and artists who are looking closely at this little known subject.
The symposium examines the links between tech-ideologies, mysticism, and the power and impact of images in the time of a (post) pandemic society when, more than ever before, we consume images on screens digitally for endless hours of the day.
Lauren Huret’s work investigates the performative power of images and their effects on the body and soul of spectators and workers. In the context of the global content-sharing economy, Huret also brings awareness about our belief systems in communication technology and our tendency to trust—and assume the presence of—automated processes.
Lauren Huret’s year residency and exhibition : Praying for your eyes
This November artist Lauren Huret launches into her one year online residency with swissnex san francisco to continue her research on media bewitchment, illusions of automation and the performative power of images. Throughout the next year she will focus on recovery and remedy processes from « cursed media » under various forms such as : collective workshops, seminars and panel discussions, calls for participation and performances.
For the past 3 years, the artist has been exploring the work of content moderators, workers who sort out, as a daily practice, the online content posted on different participatory platforms (for example social media). Lauren Huret is raising questions about what she calls « cursed imagery », or problematic images that can have disastrous psychological and physical consequences on humans in the age of « meme warfare” and political misinformation. For the swissnex online residency, she will take the opportunity to share her research and find ways to counter-act the curse, or to break the spell on media bewitchment, by dissecting our beliefs toward technological tools and illusions.
The artist and the institution decided together to launch this one year residency right after the US election, taking advantage of these agitated times to reflect and rethink our use of media (participatory or not), our collective understanding of images, communication tools, art and politics.
09:00am — Introduction
09:15am — Research presentations by Hamid Ekbia and Sarah T Roberts
09:45am — Moderated discussion with Hamid Ekbia, Lauren Huret and Sarah T Roberts
10:00am — Q&A
10:15am — Conclusion
06:00pm — Introduction
06:15pm — Research presentations by Hamid Ekbia and Sarah T Roberts
06:45pm — Moderated discussion with Hamid Ekbia, Lauren Huret and Sarah T Roberts
07:00pm — Q&A
07:15pm — Conclusion
Hamid Ekbia is Professor of Informatics, International Studies, and Cognitive Science at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he also directs the Center for Research on Mediated Interaction. He is interested in the political economy of computing, in the future of work, and in how technologies mediate socio-economic, cultural, and geo-political relations of modern societies. His most recent co-authored book Heteromation and Other Stories of Computing and Capitalism(MIT Press, 2017) examines computer-mediated modes of value extraction in capitalist economies.
Sarah T Roberts
Sarah T. Roberts is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Studies (Graduate School of Education & Information Studies) at UCLA. She holds a Ph.D. from the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining UCLA in 2016, she was an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University in London, Ontario for three years. On the internet since 1993, she was previously an information technology professional for 15 years, and, as such, her research interests focus on information work and workers and on the social, economic and political impact of the widespread adoption of the internet in everyday life. Professor Roberts is internationally recognized as a leading scholar on the emerging topic of commercial content moderation of social media (or CCM, for short) a term she coined to define the field study around the large-scale, industrial and for-pay practice of social media user-generated content adjudication. In December of 2017 she hosted All Things in Moderation on the UCLA campus, a first-of-its-kind conference to bring researchers, civil society advocates, workers, journalists and industry representatives together to discuss issues pertaining to social media moderation. Her book on commercial content moderation, entitled Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media, was published in 2019 from Yale University Press. She served as consultant to and is featured in the award-winning documentary, The Cleaners, which debuted at Sundance 2018 and airs on PBS in the United States in November 2018. Roberts is frequently consulted by the press and others on issues related to social media, society and culture. She has been interviewed on these topics in print, on radio and on television worldwide including: The New York Times, Associated Press, Le Monde, The Economist, the BBC, the CBC, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Wired, The Washington Post, News Corp Australia, Asahi Shimbun, and CNN, among others. Dr. Roberts was recently elected to the board of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing. She is a 2018 Carnegie Fellow and a 2018 recipient of the EFF Barlow Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking research on content moderation of social media.
Lauren Huret (born 1984 in Paris), Visual Artist, lives in Geneva, Switzerland. Her work, mainly composed of videos, installations, performances and collages, is based on an on-going examination of the influence of media and tech culture on belief systems. She has exhibited at Kunsthaus Langenthal, Hard Hat Gallery in Geneva, La Panacée in Montpellier, Copenhagen Contemporary, at Centre d’art contemporain de Genève, at Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris, at the Haus der Elektronischen Kunste in Basel, at Jeu de Paume in Paris, among others. Recent performances have been at Kunstverein Goetthingen in Germany, the Swiss Performance Prize at the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne, at the Schinkel Pavilion in Berlin, at the théâtre de l’Usine Geneva, at the festival Les Urbaines à l’Arsenic in Lausanne, for the international organization ICRC in Turkey and in London. Recent publications include: “Artificial fear, Intelligence of Death,” co-published by Link Editons and Kunsthaus Langenthal (2016), “L’âge des techniciens” with Pacôme Thiellement, published by Clinamen (2017), and “Praying for my haters,” published by CCS Paris (2019).