The New Digital Art is Decidedly Anti-Tech Bro

"… There’s always been a layer of fear around technology, from films about robot uprisings to mothers worried their children will be kidnapped if they talk to a stranger online. Not all of this is rational (which the recent Momo hoax has illustrated well), but some certainly is, with the rise of deepfakes (which often exploit women’s images), algorithmically assisted right-wing radicalization on sites like YouTube, and artificial intelligence and self-driving cars already proving to hold dangerous racial biases.

Refiguring Binaries artist Tabita Rezaire acknowledges that nefarious uses of tech are far from a new creation. “Our cherished technologies are the results of institutional violence,” writes Rezaire in an emailed statement (she told GARAGE she doesn’t conduct individual interviews about her work). “We have much to recover in terms of connectivity and its potentialities.”

The thing that I think is the secret to this form really reaching its truest potential is to align technologists with the contemporary art world in a new way,” notes Nichole, who works in tech in addition to her curatorial output. “You bring a tech bro down to Pioneer Works, you show him Meriem Benanni’s piece, and he’s gonna laugh. And that laughter, it expands the perspective in a way.”

And while opening the mind of a tech bro can seem inferior to just, say, kicking them all out in favor of a technological future that’s genuinely decolonized and diverse, it’s better than merely sitting, scrolling, and wondering when a change will come."

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