Goethe on Demand: Bias in technologies
In a humorous, playful, experimental, surprising and provocative way, the short films collected here question the use of and our dealings with various forms of technology as well as the effects of deep socio-political structures on algorithms. They provide insights into the machines and present utopian-dystopian views of posthumanist futures.
Brenda Lien’s Call of Comfort (DE 2018, 9 min.) deals with our online privacy, which falls victim to our demand for comfort as well as the promise of an optimized life. AIVA (DE 2020, 13 min.) by Veneta Androva humorously analyzes how “neutral” artificial intelligence can be, deconstructing the myth of the male genius. The experimental science fiction short film by video artist Björn Melhus, SUGAR (DE 2019, 20 min), confronts us with a post-humanist and post-capitalist future in which robots seek a way out of the echo chambers of meaningless selfie monologues left behind by humans. Halina Kliem’s speculative fiction The AIs (DE/USA 2021, 7 min.) is an experimental fiction on learning and unlearning, mind and labor, dynamics of bias, as well as change, and a dialogue between human and non-human entities. The film explores beliefs humans have about themselves, using feedback loops, chaotic systems, and historical-pattern-replicating machines. Meta_Face (USA 2017, 2 min.) by Jürgen Trautwein and Silvia Nonnenmacher reflects on how the major social networks we feed daily with our search queries, status updates, and location services know more about our obsessions and addictions than we do. Vera Seberts and Harun Farocki direct our gaze into the machines: What happens when visual language elements and metatexts are stripped of their context? Liquid Traits of an Image Apparatus (DE/AT, 2019, 7 min.) presents a poetic-experimental choreography of codes and symbols. In numerous juxtapositions, Eye/Machine III (DE, 2003, 25 min.) examines “intelligent” image processing techniques and “operative seeing” as well as the relationship between man, machine and modern warfare: What are the socio-political, but also humanistic consequences when (war) machines block out “surplus” information?
Some of these films contain graphic scenes of nudity.