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    The Limits of Algorithmic Perception: technological Umwelt

    EVA Copenhagen 2018 - Politics of the Machines - Art and After

    Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 - 17 May 2018


    Rosemary Lee



    The algorithmic processes underlying digital media entail that elements of the unseen are integrated into processes of visualization. What is visible in a digital image, for instance, is merely the tangible output of procedures which are obscured from view. Borrowing from ecological theory, using Jacob von Uexkuell’s concept, the Umwelt, this paper explores synergies between notions of biological perception, cybernetic sensing and Harun Farocki’s concept of the operative image. Working from this conceptual framework, a technological notion of Umwelt is developed and applied in analysis of related computer science research and relevant artistic projects. The transdisciplinary approach applied in this investigation aims to frame artistic experimentation with algorithmic mediation of perception in reference to the technoscientific context these practices emerge from.


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