Le’s Flaneur

In Le’s cities, the flaneur’s walk is no longer important. The flaneur does not walk. He glances. He sees the world in snippets and fragments, and at high speeds.

As the jury conversation asked whether the project could move beyond representation, into a more real engagement with the nature of Le – perhaps it is useful now to begin to describe Le through her interfaces. The next task is potentially to elaborate Le’s skin – her boundary where information flows in and out. I think I’d still like to keep the project as a speculation rather than setting it in the more immediate present, but as Amandine mentioned, I think I need to find more opportunities for the weird and unexpected to creep in.

I came across Sharelab recently – an organisation that maps out the algorithms on the internet that determine how content, and therefore culture, and therefore Le, is distributed. As their schematic shows, the algorithms that determine our world view – our ‘filter bubble’, are highly complex, but also quite rigid – surely rife with assumptions and biases that the developers have not yet even considered.

facebookfactory-small

https://labs.rs/en/facebook-algorithmic-factory-immaterial-labour-and-data-harvesting/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/16/facebook-bias-bubble-us-election-conservative-liberal-news-feed

Since Trump’s election, many articles have popped up about the problems of the filter bubble – I think it would be interesting to consider how Le might try to mitigate some of the filter bubble’s greatest pitfalls – certainly the self affirming culture of social media seems unsustainable into the future.

Regarding TS, I see 2 options at the moment:

1. Reverse engineer the algorithms behind social media and internet searches to try to discover Le’s criteria for assigning value – then propose modifications (hopefully for the better!)

2. Develop a prototype for the overlay of spaces using augmented reality, trying to reveal Le’s nature as a city between cities, a place that exists everywhere and invisibly.

More tomorrow!

 

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