Under the Calculative Gaze

The project Under the Calculative Gaze investigates how socially applied AI is not only directly intertwined with unresolved injustices of the prevailing socio-economic system, but actually enables a transition towards authoritarianism that is present in the technology industry itself, in the politics of various countries and institutions, and in the rise of far-right political movements. AI reinforces existing power dynamics and, by hierarchically categorising individuals, furthers societal divisions based on exclusionary and ideologically underpinned criteria of value and allocation.

Targets of the extensive digital control and algorithmic optimisation are typically “low-rights environments”, where expectations of political responsibility and transparency are easier to disregard. Counteracting this are collective practices of self-organisation, where positions of social and political disadvantage give rise to solidarity across differences and beyond models of algorithmic governance.


More context:

Under the Calculative Gaze – interview with Sanela Jahić by Diane Pricop, Obsolete Studio

The excesses of Artificial Intelligence and digital surveillance have long been romanticised, subject of the most famous dystopian works of science fiction, as a warning of what our society could be in for. Today, there is no longer any doubt. We have well and truly turned a corner, so much so that regulating the use of algorithms in professional recruitment will be on the agenda for the next European elections in June 2024. In practical terms, this means that the systems have already been developed and put in place by public institutions. Given these circumstances, it is no longer a question of establishing the limits of what an AI can achieve or how, but rather of knowing what we are prepared to accept individually and collectively. What will tomorrow’s norm be? This is a question that artist Sanela Jahić has been asking herself for some time. Her project Under the Calculative Gaze shows how algorithmic systems contribute to widening existing social gaps and represent a danger to our civil rights and individual freedoms. Somewhere between sociology, art and activism, Sanela tells us very real stories.


Ph: Otto Saxinger & Martin Bruner