State hegemony over accessing information has mutated people enduring geographical predetermination as an object of surveillance. Officials are trying to assert more control across all media and actively purify content through communication bans. In these totalitarian societies, using censorship circumvention tools such as VPNs and proxies allow gaining access to everyday information; however, these processes are not enough to bypass the underdeveloped internet and it’s trickling speeds. Suppression is meticulously implemented in more ways than just engaging with the throttled internet, and stranding people in the perimeters of media isolation. There are only about half a dozen state-run TV channels—all in the direction of downstream propagation. Despite crackdown, the so-called ‘depraving’ satellite TV tends to be the predominant media. Orbital/terrestrial jamming and confiscation of satellite dishes has become a common practice for autocracies wishing to limit unfavorable coverage. Content restrictions toward cyber sovereignty are tightening to a degree such that connection to the outside world is deteriorating.
Crossing between parallel realities, communication systems are being augmented, and a global village is born. As a consequence of the age of Digital Imperialism, a westernized culture has been imposed; reinforcing capitalism as a universal quality. Ubiquitous algorithms and mathematical models curate and aide decision-making. The ability to collect and analyze massive amounts of structured and unstructured data affects large swaths of people through micro-targeting operations. The information overflow in social networking platforms provides new forms of civic engagement interweaving big data with manipulation strategies. Bias seeps into data that machine learning uses to train on, influencing the predictions it makes. Lack of transparency around these abstract formulas raises issues of dehumanization and emotional excision.
+ Intersection +
Reflecting on the rise and fall of physical barriers dividing contradictory ideologies, these barriers have now metamorphosed into virtual ones to prevent the information perceived. Raw data is buried beneath massive layers of content obstruction. Achieving net neutrality and original, creator-specific digital communications requires liquefying these layers through revolutionary software movements (Softwar(e)). This phenomenon traces the evolution of the internet from a novel playground for social experimentation to something that now more closely resembles a battlefield. Throughout major clashes with cyberspace gatekeepers, people have broken holes in the existing, inhibiting systems—indiscernible from portals for access to pure, unfiltered content.
Softwar(e) looks poetically at the authoritarian control of information for people enduring geographical predetermination or exploitation by the opaque, algorithm-driven society. Built as a device of ubiquity, restricted access to information of the internet perpetuates inequality; an institutional perpetuation of hegemonic cultural misunderstanding. Through processes of purification and filtering, systems of control are imposed on the information that is made accessible. These interventions into the natural and localized organic growth of networks facilitating communication, define the confrontational edge between imperialization and dictatorship. Softwar(e) addresses the ways we engage and access information. It is a call to action for the development of alternative methods to circumvent the immense global influence and power.
1. We believe raising awareness reduces and constrains the misbehavior of despots, and as a result democracy flourishes.
2. We strive for bringing positive social change to the strange and contradictory digital infrastructure.
3. We encourage unity among individuals and resistance against institutional, decision-making algorithms.
4. We insist on the return of an chronological, no-ad stream of posts and an end to smart software governing our existing social feed timeline.
5. We call for vigilance against polarization entrepreneurs causing suspicion and discord among people.
6. We seek to abolish the sophisticated censorship apparatus that enables officials to hedge their monopoly on information.
7. We demand countering Softwar(e) as the main venture to unobstruct concealed and false information.
8. We want individuals confronting Softwar(e) to recognize their loopholes for gaining access to information.
9. We yearn to establish a virtual paramilitary unit to combat social isolation and alienation.
10. We wage cyber warfare against online and offline fragmentation.