Published: Oct. 14, 2020
A view of the Co-Dependent Algorithms exhibit, which shows "snort" on the left and "snrta" on the right.

Codependent Algorithms, code-based artwork by Joel Swanson, ATLAS assistant professor, is on exhibition for the 26th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA 2020), Oct. 13-18. Themed "Why Sentience?," the hybrid online/on-site program features the works of more than 100 local and international artists, adapted to a virtual platform.

Codependent Algorithms explores human interdependence with algorithms. The project begins by choosing a random word. Then a misspelling algorithm, used to intentionally mimic human spelling errors to improve website search rankings, deforms the word which is displayed on the right. Then a spelling correction algorithm corrects that word and displays it on the left, creating an infinite feedback loop of deformation and correction that removes the need for human input and intervention.

ISEA 2020 focuses on work and talks that touch on animality; the ecosophic world; machinic sense and sensibility; sentient difference; matter’s nattering; the politics of sentience; and the planetary topics.