How artificial is my intelligence? Does it corrupt the robots I manage? Do my IT algorithms enforce unconscious bias? Electronic opiates in every hand? Soon in every head? TV dystopias prophetic? What spectacular spectacles do my spectacles ogle or google? Whose stories are told, whose emotional notion potion bathes my memory chip?
It has never been more important to examine our cultural tales as we reify them in the technology we create and ask to automate our decisions and do our work for us. Whether we are speaking of propaganda or artifacts, we are our stuff. We have learned that human cognition is somewhat malleable, but what happens when we solder our stories into everyday artifacts that endlessly repeat what they heard in their creation narrative? Repetitio mater studiorum est? Rather repetition is the mofo of permanence, and permanence is not eternal repose but incestuous cultural suicide.
The world will either belong to artifacts that make the rules or artists who break the rules. It’s time to stop arguing about what culture is and pay attention to what it says. It’s everywhere, all there is.
Image: Collage of contemporary futurifica