How is software shaping our culture, and vice versa? What does it mean to be citizens of a software society?
Benjamin Grosser’s work addresses such issues as mass surveillance, "man-machine" and "machine-machine" interactions, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data. The artist approaches his subject matter through the lens of an artistic practice of «culture jamming », or cultural sabotage. Benjamin Grosser sets out to hijack software platforms that have become part and parcel of our everyday life through a tactic of «poaching» (M. de Certeau, The practice of Everyday Life).
By imagining unintended applications and designing new extensions for Facebook, Gmail, Artificial Intelligence Systems, IP Localisators etc., the artist subverts the mechanics of IT services that are in the same time surveillance systems and data collectors. His ironic approach elicits an effect of detachment, which alerts users to some of their automatisms and to their place in the dominant cultural order.
In so doing, Grosser lays the groundwork for an anti-discipline that enables us to assert ourselves as active historical subjects from within the current regime of technological power. A healthy antidote to passive victimhood and an instrument of peaceful resistance, his "digital disobedience" points towards chances of escape.