Algorithmic Autobiographies (and Fictions)

Tanya Kant & Sophie Bishop

  • Format: Webinar/Workshop
  • Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours
  • Language: English
  • Ages: 16+
  • When: 04/07/2020 2:00 pm
  • Recorded: Yes

Many people will be familiar with that targeted ad that follows them around the web, or that unnerving feeling that Facebook or Google is tracking their every move – perhaps even listening to their conversations. In the age of dataveillance, platform providers use such techniques to predict our age, gender and interests. But who does Facebook really think you are? What kind of identity has Google decided you inhabit? This workshop will tackle these questions by offering participants a chance to engage with their data-selves. We will discover how our algorithmic identities are created, what they can and cannot know about us, and what we can and cannot know about them. But this is no tech workshop – no experience with data required. Instead, participants will get the chance to creatively collaborate with their data-selves: through experimental drawing and/ or by a writing a short story, based on the selves that social media platforms think they are.


Did you miss it? Click PLAY on the video screen below to watch a recording of the live event.


Presented as part of Creativate Digital Arts Festival.


Co-developers and directors: Dr Tanya Kant and Dr Sophie Bishop


Dr Tanya Kant is a lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies (Digital Media) at the University of Sussex, UK. Her research interests focus on web personalisation, algorithmic culture and everyday life, online advertising, and (digital) selfhood. She is author of Making It Personal: Algorithmic Personalization, Identity, and Everyday Life (2020, Oxford University Press), as well as journal articles on personalised media, public service broadcasting, and identity performance. She is co-managing editor of multimedia, open access publishing platform REFRAME.

Dr Sophie Bishop is a lecturer in Digital Marketing and Communications in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College, London. Her research falls under the heading of ‘feminist political economy’ – broadly, she examines how creative work and promotional cultures work within the context of social media platforms, and the implications for labour, representation and discrimination. Her current projects include studying the experiences of beauty influencers within rapidly changing digital marketing industries (particularly alongside understandings of ‘algorithms’), looking at how creative practitioners use targeted ads and a study of content farms and cultural optimisation.