*Sociality, a new project by Paolo Cirio.*
PRESS RELEASE, October 12th 2018, NYC.
Human sociality is being engineered and patented.
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
*Read more about the Sociality project here:*
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 <https://Obscurity.online> and
https://Right2Remove.us <https://Right2Remove.us>* <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:
The artwork *Obscurity* is currently in display as an art installation at
the 12th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea:
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:
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”*:
Thank you for your support.
Paolo Cirio Press.
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