As part of No Copyright Infringement Intended, Search Engine Artist Internet Imperialist Gretchen Andrew will be delivering a workshop on how search engines shape our understanding of culture.
Participants of this workshop will learn the basics of image search engine optimization (seo) and how the photography/ images they create can be better positioned online for discovery and cultural relevancy. This workshop will consider how the internet is imperially, intentionally, creatively, and maliciously, used a source of definition and consider what this means for intellectual property & image culture.
Entry to the workshop is £3.50 + booking fee and is limited to 20 places. Tickets can be booked here: eventbrite.co.uk/e/accordingtotheinternet-tickets-36684732021
Participants will need to bring their own computer/laptop.
Amazon is a company...and then also a river.
Cherokee is a car… and then a tribe of people.
Both are brands protected by copyright laws.
Conduct an image search (image.google.com) for “amazon” and you are pages down before you come across a reference to the world’s largest river. Instead you see logos and references to one of the world’s most “relevant” companies.
It isn’t that the internet is incorrect in returning these results, but that in doing so it tells us something essential about the way the internet creates definitions, and who is more likely to benefit: products over people, companies over communities.
In 1929 when Marguerite wrote “This is not a pipe” under his painting of a pipe he was playing with the relationship between an object and its representation. Today, search is how text becomes image, how sign becomes symbol, how words become flesh. It is how meaning and definition are established.
Image search in particular sits at the intersection of representation and meaning. When we enter text into the search bar and receive images as results it may appear that endless deferral of meaning, as described by poststructuralism, ends. However, a basic understanding of how image search operations exposes dependance on the same unreliable words. This obscures that the inherent problems of language have actually been exacerbated.
Now that the internet, through the lense of search engines and the optimization algorithms they operate with, is the arbiter of definition interesting things are happening. Whatever a pipe is or is not, Google determines it.
Gretchen Andrew (born in California, 1988) is a Search Engine Artist and Internet Imperialist whose HOW TO HOW TO HOW TO & #accordingToTheInternet projects look at the internet as a tenuous form of authority that can be used to understand, manipulate, and imperialize definitions. Her search-based practice is accompanied by a painting practice that is used as an image source for her related Internal Imperialism. She has completed projects or exhibitions with The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, The V&A Museum, Arebyte, The Photographer’s Gallery, The British Film Institute, The Lumen Prize for Digital Art, The British Arts Council, The White Building, Ace Hotel, The London Film School, and Whitcher Projects. She works in London with the artist Billy Childish.