[NetBehaviour] Sociality, a new project by Paolo Cirio.

marc.garrett marc.garrett at protonmail.com
Fri Oct 12 11:15:46 CEST 2018


Sociality, a new project by Paolo Cirio.

PRESS RELEASE, October 12th 2018, NYC.

Human sociality is being engineered and patented.
https://SOCIALITY.today

The artist Paolo Cirio investigated public repositories of patents to reveal thousands of technologies that conceal the social control, manipulation, and surveillance at play on the Internet.

Sociality aims to exploit intellectual property laws for monitoring and regulating information technology. As an artistic provocation, it proposes the oversight, flagging, and banning of socially harmful inventions that employ devious psychological and profiling tactics through artificial intelligence, algorithms, data mining, social media, user interfaces, and tracking, in favor of a more ethical use of technology.

Today, human sociality and psychology are affected by devices subtly designed to program social behaviors. Sociality seeks to inspire regulations, accountability, and public awareness regarding these apparatuses. Beyond addressing the technology itself, the artwork looks at intellectual property as a political and economic field that has become applied to the sociality of humans. Our sociality is now being owned and traded by private companies without public scrutiny. This artwork documents the history of the unscrupulous business of engineering human sociality with the introduction of technology for social networks, Internet advertising, and even mind-reading.

On Sociality’s website everyone is able to browse, search, submit, and rate patents by their titles, images of flowcharts, and the companies that created them. Both the artist and the online participants perform oversight of invasive inventions designed to target demographics, push content, coerce interactions, and monitor citizens. In the exhibition, the public confronts large-scale compositions with images of flowcharts that abstractly invoke the complexity and magnitude of uncanny plans to program people. Images of flowcharts of patents are composed with short descriptions and patent numbers to be shared online or through printouts distributed at art shows and in the public space.

The documentary form of this artwork aims to shed light on contemporary mechanisms of social control by showing evidence of complex technological systems and their roles in enabling addiction, opinion formation, deceptions, discrimination, and profiling. Sociality examines the concepts of social bubbles, algorithmic bias, amplification of misinformation, behavior modification, tech addiction, and corporate surveillance. Expanding from privacy and bias, this project focuses on technology for the manipulation of human behaviors and psyche. Attention economy, steered social validation, and habit forming products can be psychologically damaging and impact social relationships to the point of harming the fabric of society and endangering democracy.

We regulate the financial sector, we have check and balance in the government, we ban the sale of guns, and toxic chemicals. As information technology impacts society perilously, we must also regulate both centralized and decentralized platforms, infrastructures, and interfaces with inventive, restrictive, and reflexive policies.

The first presentations and interventions with Sociality will be on October 13th at MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University on October 12th.

Read more about the Sociality project here:
https://SOCIALITY.today/about/

Regulatory Art
The cultural celebration of technology concerns the ethics of representation. Critical art should account for the intentional and unintentional social consequences caused by technolibertarianism. In a time when institutions struggle to regulate technology, artists can creatively engage with regulations and governance as a form of Regulatory Art. Technology is now a cultural field in which belief systems, politics, and ethics are central in determining the acceptance of any technological system. Data, code, crypto, and platforms are not the law, nor above it, and they should never be. Technology has become a political agent and its governance needs creative, critical, and dynamic propositions from artists. Regulatory Art is the practice of addressing, engaging, and inquiring about regulations in the technocratic society we live in.

Paolo Cirio also addresses the politics of Internet regulations in his ongoing projects https://Obscurity.online and https://Right2Remove.us

The project Obscurity connected individuals affected by the mugshot publishing industry and provided a point of departure for the project Right2Remove to regulate the exposure of stigmatizing and abusive content on Internet search engines.

After two years of activism and organizing, Right2Remove grew into a community of activists, lawyers, and journalists spread across the United States and internationally. Right2Remove is now forming as an organization and partnering with the Association for Accountability and Internet Democracy. In order to create Internet regulations Paolo Cirio’s campaign is successfully shifting the cultural understanding and knowledge about the Right to Be Forgotten and privacy inequality in United States.

The data collected for the Obscurity project, over 10 millions images of mugshots and 15 millions criminal records, has all been deleted without archived copies as a final part of the Internet art performance. In addition, the obfuscated websites will be delisted since they served their function and mugshot websites have been changing and multiplying.

Paolo Cirio discussed the mugshot websites and the Right2Remove in this article on The Guardian US in June:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/12/mugshot-exploitation-websites-arrests-shame

The artwork Obscurity is currently in display as an art installation at the 12th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea:
https://paolocirio.net/work/obscurity/inst-gwangju.php

Moreover, the Right to Remove and content moderation on Internet platforms will be discussed with experts in a panel organized by Paolo Cirio and the Center for Technology, Society & Policy at The School of Information, University of California Berkeley on November 15:
https://ctsp.berkeley.edu

Finally to conclude the projects, Paolo Cirio addresses abuses and freedom of speech on the Internet with the theoretical text “Perceptions on Systems of Justice over the Internet”:
https://paolocirio.net/press/texts/text_obscurity-right2remove.php

Thank you for your support.

Paolo Cirio Press.
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