Planetary-scale systems: technology and development
In a networked society data and infrastructures are sources of power, both material and immaterial, and yet they are hard to track down, materialize, understand, or even perceive in their magnitude. The shapes and topographies of those systems represent a reflection of complex geopolitical and economic relations, colonial and neocolonial practices, and one of the modern metrics of power. Our capacity to understand those systems is crucial for our future development. These black boxes, hidden behind the corporate and government walls have defined new forms of labor, exploitation, and generation of the enormous amount of wealth and power. Through the tracerouting of individual Internet packages, metadata analysis, and investigation of algorithms we will discover step by step, the story of physical infrastructure embodied in millions of kilometers of cables, huge impersonal and dehumanized facilities for data storage and analysis, and various parasitic systems of the surveillance economy.
Vladan Joler is technologist and new media professor. He is the founder of the SHARE Foundation and a professor at the New Visual Media department at Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. He runs the SHARE Lab, a research laboratory for studying data with the purpose of exploring different social and technical aspects, invisible infrastructure, algorithm transparency, labor exploitation, and different phenomena that emerged with the development and use of modern technology. This research included detailed analysis of business models, personal information exploitation processes, forms of hidden labor, surveillance economy, and algorithms hidden behind the walls of companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. This specific line of action represents a fusion of investigative and artistic approach and contains a wide array of different methodologies, a mixture of cyber forensic methods, data analysis and data visualization, cartography, media theory, and philosophy.
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- Publication date
- 9 December 2021
- Directorate-General for International Partnerships