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Please Explain: Are We Our Gadgets?

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4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

181-187 Hay St

Haymarket, NSW 2000

Australia

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''If you can have a conversation with a simulated person presented by an AI program, can you tell how far you’ve let your sense of personhood degrade in order to make the illusion work for you?” Jaron Lanier, You are Not a Gadget (2010)

4A’s series Please Explain invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts, academia, journalism and related fields.

Responding to The Invisible Hand presented at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, an exhibition that considers how digital platform technologies are exploiting technological convenience to co-opt personal data in an uncertain zero-sum game, this edition of Please Explain will be moderated by Ariel Bogle, Technology Reporter for The ABC, and include panelists David Vaile, stream leader for the Allens Hub for Technology, Law & Innovation at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Faculty of Law, and Prof. Bronwen Morgan, Professor, School of Law, University of New South Wales (UNSW), alongside The Invisible Hand exhibiting artists Sunwoo Hoon and Mijoon Pak (Korea).

There is no area in life, business or society that has not been upended and rethought through platform technology companies. Nowhere is this more prevalent than the region of East Asia with the likes of Facebook and Google and their East Asian counterparts Naver, Tencent and Rakuten. It presents as no surprise that many people are anxious about our individual and collective futures and feel that as a society, we have little agency in how its unfolding.

Responding to thought leader and provocateur, Jaron Lanier’’s You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (2010), this Please Explain will unpack how platform technology companies are shifting the digital landscape.

Speakers:
David Vaile, Bronwen Morgan, Sunwoo Hoon + Mijoon Pak
Moderator: Ariel Bogle


Following Please Explain, 4A presents two deep dive discussions that spotlight some of the most pressing issues facing users and consumers of technology and media in the Asia-Pacific. Outline of the programme below:

2.30 - 3.30 PM
Data Practice: Andrea Lau and Mitchell Whitelaw in conversation

Data has been called ‘the new oil’ — a valuable resource that is getting increasing attention from business, government, communities and citizens. But how might we work with data from a practical, critical and creative standpoint? Andrea Lau talks with Mitchell Whitelaw about the emerging contours of ‘data practice’, touching on models of independent practice, engaging with government and business, poetry vs functionality and cross-cultural perspectives.

3.30 - 4.30 PM
Designing a Participatory Economy with Cameron Tonkinwise

Interaction Design has helped create platforms that appear to seamlessly match supply-and-demand. Marketed as liberatory, these platforms have become exploitative ‘gig economies.’ It is nevertheless possible to redirect these platforms to promote more local, fairer ways of cooperatively providing services. Led by Cameron Tonkinwise, the talk explores some of the interaction design patterns that could help establish platform cooperatives.’


The Invisible Hand is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and has been supported by the Korean Cultural Centre Au and was assisted by
The Freedman Foundation International Scholarship for Curators. The program is administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).


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4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

181-187 Hay St

Haymarket, NSW 2000

Australia

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