“To be sure, uttered talk never belongs to those who say it, but its origin is nevertheless identifiable and it is this identification that defines the political form of talking: ‘In the name of whom, of which other agents are we talking?” Bruno Latour
Using Foucalt’s statement that systems of discourse are self-generating ‘practices that … form the objects of which they speak’. This artwork self generates arrays of objects, text messages and sonic compositions based on an AI’s interpretation of the emotions expressed in Twitter tweets; effectively using the structure and affective agency of the ‘text’ to re-write, re-image and re-encrypt itself.
That our social media posts are regulated, categorised and encrypted belies the increasing amount of control such ambiguous networks have over gestural and affective exchanges in everyday life. Ambiguity and affect are interlinked because both take place in the liminal network spaces in-between. Likewise, according to Barthes (2005) affect is ambiguous because it is a dynamic state of transition, an exchange that involves an “inventory of shimmers, of nuances, of states, of changes”. In other words, affective states have the capacity to confuse the prerequisite of clear communication and encrypt social media forms as meaningfully indecipherable.
This art work contends that the humble tweet is actually a collective network effect, involving discourse, machines and social habitus, produced by humans and nonhumans in self-organizing systems of knowledge. Likewise in this artwork the tweet is no longer the passive product of a singular human hand ripe for dataviellance. Rather, the ‘text’ as much as the meaning is collectively re-visualized or re-encrypted as differently intelligible. The effect is to undermine the signifying capacity and destabilize the exchangeable value-form of our social media posts. In this way the formation of affect performed through social media is used as a means to encrypt the message with a collective ‘mind’ and thus ‘intention’ of its own.