To browse the internet is to subject oneself to sophisticated and unceasing techniques of attention-capture, of which the pop-up advertisement is only the most crass and vexatious example. This paper describes the development of Nightingale, a web browser extension that fights distraction with distraction. It does this by injecting the web with pop-up ads consisting of semantically-relevant fragments of the poetry of Keats. Nightingale represents an attempt to engage in “noöhacking”—that is, repurposing the cognitively-destructive aspects of contemporary digital media in order to care for one’s own mind.’
Critical Attention and Figures of Control: On Reading Networked, Software-based Social Systems with a Protective Eye
Søren Pold takes up the task to deconstruct the present cultural moment when the effects and ways of operating of social systems, as discussed by Johanna Drucker in her recent book, are becoming central interfaces to a broad range of lived reality. Pold’s offers a valuable effort at understanding the complex mechanisms of production of such systems via investigation of rhetorical and software aspects of networked media. With the focus on artistic research installation, The Oracle of Selphie by Jakob Fredslund and Malthe Stauning Erslev in collaboration with Pold and coupled with his own installation platform The Poetry Machine, Pold interrogates to what extent Drucker’s arguments allows for a critical approach to reading patterns in social media. Doing so, he simultaneously offers models of distracted reading grounded in the propositions by Michel de Certeau, Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Olga Goriunova, demonstrating that “lurking” and other forms of inattentive reading can be exploited and turned into profit in the age of the platform capitalism. Such an observation calls for further research that would better grasp the nature of networked reading practices enabled (and more often forced) by our contemporary social media platforms.
A post-humanist critique of Rockwell and Berendt's all too Humanist essay, in the vein of Donna Haraway’s “Keeping with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Cthulucene” (2016) and Patricia MacCormack’s “Posthuman Ethics” (2012).