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Critical Attention and Figures of Control: On Reading Networked, Software-based Social Systems with a Protective Eye

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Søren Pold takes up the task to deconstruct the present cultural moment when the effects and ways of operating of social systems, as discussed by Johanna Drucker in her recent book, are becoming central interfaces to a broad range of lived reality. Pold’s offers a valuable effort at understanding the complex mechanisms of production of such systems via investigation of rhetorical and software aspects of networked media. With the focus on artistic research installation, The Oracle of Selphie by Jakob Fredslund and Malthe Stauning Erslev in collaboration with Pold and coupled with his own installation platform The Poetry Machine, Pold interrogates to what extent Drucker’s arguments allows for a critical approach to reading patterns in social media. Doing so, he simultaneously offers models of distracted reading grounded in the propositions by Michel de Certeau, Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Olga Goriunova, demonstrating that “lurking” and other forms of inattentive reading can be exploited and turned into profit in the age of the platform capitalism. Such an observation calls for further research that would better grasp the nature of networked reading practices enabled (and more often forced) by our contemporary social media platforms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalElectronic Book Review
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • attention, affection, distraction, Reading culture, social media, software art, electronic literature, Interface Criticism

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