Produced in partnership with QUAD, Derby and Bloc Projects, Sheffield
Opening: 6 – 8pm, 13 April 2018
Exhibition: 14 Apr – 5 May
71 Eyre Lane, Sheffield S1 4RB
Opening: 6 – 8pm, 13 July 2018
Exhibition: 14 July – 21 October 2018
Cathedral Quarter, Market Place, Derby DE1 3AS
'Acredo' will investigate the construction of belief in online networks, examining the rise of unjust ideologies and fantasies, and how these are capable of affecting our worldview. The advent of digital media has shown that the world is made up of a mass of circulating, disjointed and contradictory information. This multi-dimensional communications network can be easily manipulated by online groups and individuals, which can give rise to new narratives and ideologies. Using research from the Centre for Investigative Journalism and Social Psychologists the work will take the form of a speculative association, a corporation where ideologies are disseminated to manipulate people. Conspiracy theory, sci-fact and sci-fi, corporate and religious belief systems will be woven together in this multi-dimensional work.
We live in a time of ‘hyperpolarisation’ where we think that people with different political or religious beliefs live in different worlds. Our beliefs are reaffirmed in social media echo chambers whereby abstract manipulation occurs through background algorithmic processes, pulling us further into rabbit holes and making atomized groups. The work will operate by holding up multiple mirrors, reflecting different cultural sets of belief systems, to question the very foundations of what constitutes our world view. It will uncover personal journeys that lead to certain convictions and critique the platforms that pitch different belief systems against each other.
The 2016 Brexit and Trump campaigns both used the private company Cambridge Analytica (CA) to influence voters during the run up to the UK referendum and the US election. The company combines data mining and data analysis with strategic communication and is known for involvement "in military disinformation campaigns to social media branding and voter targeting". CA specifically uses Facebook user activity to create psychological profiles and model personalities. 'Adcredo' will be formed from the research of the technologies involved with these data mining and modelling technologies used by CA that are used to track these different viewpoints and to manipulate individual behaviour and collective belief.
As we have seen within recent political upheaval in the last two years, popular opinion and attitudes may not be grounded in certain ‘truths’ but based upon the ‘success’ of ideas and beliefs. This is reflected in the logic of ‘Memetics’, where units of information can be replicated across cultural networks.
'Adcredo' will be based around the idea of ‘Synchromysticism’ - the significance of meaningful coincidences with mystical connotation that might emerge through the collective psyche into consensus reality and ‘Hyperstition’ – ‘a positive feedback circuit including culture as a component…Hyperstition can be defined as the experimental (techno-)science of self-fulfilling prophecies. Superstitions are merely false beliefs, but hyperstitions – by their very existence as ideas – function causally to bring about their own reality’ (Carstens 2009).