Interview #3 with Nick Couldry & Ulises Mejias on »Data Colonialism«

»Training the Archive« explores the applicability of Artificial Intelligence to art and the curation of art. For this purpose, a series of interviews with artists, curators, and theorists who have made significant contributions to the research field of image production and artificial intelligence in recent years is being produced. The third video of the interview with Ulises Mejias and Nick Couldry is online on YouTube (with subtitles).

In the interview, Nick Couldry & Ulises Mejias state:
»Whether we’re talking about value or labor or subjectivity or social relations, it’s all becoming digital information that can be amassed, can be processed and used to control not just workers in the factories. But also to control and to capitalize on people who are not working. So it’s now outside of that area, of that domain of work.«

Ulises Mejias and Nick Couldry co-authored the book “The Costs of Connection. How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating it for Capitalism”, published by Stanford University Press in 2019. The authors discuss data as an abstraction of life and describe how data is extracted and colonially exploited.

Ulises Mejias is a professor of communication studies and director of the Institute of Global Engagement at the State University of New York at Oswego. His research interests include critical data studies, philosophy and sociology of technology and political economy of digital media.

Nick Couldry is professor of media communications and social theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science and from 2017 has been a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. His research interests includes media and communications, culture and power and social theory and the consequences for everyday reality of symbolic powers concentration in particular institutions.

The interview was conducted by Francis Hunger (HMKV) for »Training the Archive.« To see the other videos in the series, click here or go to the YouTube playlist.

»Training the Archive« (2020–2023) is a research project that explores the possibilities and risks of AI in relation to the automated structuring of museum collection data to support curatorial practice and artistic production.

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