Subject to Shadowban
Subject to Shadowban
30 Jun 2023
Subject to Shadowban, commissioned by dis.art, reflects critically on the history and culture of the Internet. Specifically, how does the internet relate to labour and identity formation, and how we can challenge our everyday habituation to its omnipresence?
Is Meta a company, or the general state of being online? What subliminal messaging is influencing me as I fall asleep to ASMR videos? How do algorithmically curated choices interact with our free will? Do I gain comfort watching mukbang videos and cleaning tutorials, or anxiety? How are teen hype houses on social media influencing elections? Could video games be used as social experiments for implementing new economic systems? Can we hack the digital classroom? What, if any, online experiences remain that don’t relate back to a consumptive practice?
Tech now defines us—not the other way around. It is not just a neutral instrument, a means to an end, but has become our way of understanding the world, evolving at a pace that is beyond our control. While the web was intended to enlighten us and make truth accessible to all, we find ourselves foraging and wandering in the shadows for it. Feeling our way in the dark, this is where we might be able to see more clearly.
For over a decade, DIS has embraced, engaged, and reinvented important new spaces for the production, dissemination, and discussion of contemporary culture. Through its own unique platforms and curatorial projects like the 9th Berlin Biennale (2016), DIS enhances and amplifies the possibilities and capabilities of art and its role in the artistic, commercial, educational, and public spheres—folding all into one.
Born in 2010 as the online publication DIS Magazine (2010–17), the collaborative grew out of intersecting presences in net art, publishing, and fashion. In 2018, DIS Magazine morphed into a radical streaming platform for entertainment and education—dis.art—producing and publishing original series and docs by leading artists and thinkers about issues critical to us: the future of money and inequality; how the ‘liberal’ and the ‘democratic’ are pulling apart; post-nationality and citizenship; media theory in the age of trolling; the future of global food sustainability; the ethics of artificial intelligence; and the intersection of sexuality, race, and the environment.
The material presented by DIS is the result of a change in attitude towards the present and aims to meet the demands of contemporary social, political, and economic complexity at eye level.
Image at top: Shawn Maximo. Classrooms (still), 2021. Single-channel digital video (colour, sound). 4 min. 50 sec. Photo: Courtesy of the artist