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Tracing the outlier: digital objects and algorithmic sorting in Rossella Biscotti's Other

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The relatively new Big Data systems, which operate at different levels, such as modes of monitoring, bulk analysis or techniques for data mining, are increasingly used by corporations and agencies to make sense of massive collections of data, as they promise access to an increasingly traceable and more predictable population. Although these systems have been objects of interest in scientific, economic and socio-political research for some time, they also play a more and more noticeable role in recent aesthetic and cultural discussions. This article argues that, as decisive modes of representation of knowledge production, algorithmic sorting and categorisation are relatively underexplored but important territory for scholars in the diverse field of the philosophy of aesthetics. This article presents the concept of the digital object as a way to comprehend the different modes of functioning inherent in the logic of algorithmic sorting, as they are “translated” into visual manifestations in the artworks of Rossella Biscotti, as the point of departure for analysing the 19th century punched card technologies built into the operation of automated looms and later electromechanical tabulating machines.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1605801
JournalJournal of Aesthetics and Culture
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • Louis Althusser, Rossella Biscotti, algorithm, census taking, digital objects, outlier

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