Recommended reading for this summer: New Dark Age ~ Technology and the End of the Future by artist and writer James Bridle.
As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world.
In actual fact, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the accessibility of information, we're living in a new Dark Age.
From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us. The media is filled with unverifiable speculation, much of it generated by anonymous software, while companies dominate their employees through surveillance and the threat of automation.
In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle excavates the limits of technology and how it aids our understanding of the world. Surveying the history of art, technology, and information systems, he explores the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime.
James Bridle is a literary editor, technologist, writer, journalist, and visual artist. He writes for Guardian, Observer, Wired, Frieze, Atlantic, and many other publications. In the academic year 2018-2019 he will be part of the tutorial team of one of the DAI's COOP study groups, together with Annie Fletcher and Navine G. Khan-Dossos.