ICS Seminar Series - Luke Munn

Date: Thursday 1 June 2017
Time: 11.30am–1pm
Venue: EB.G.35, Western Sydney University, Parramatta South campus

Luke Munn

(Institute for Culture and Society)

Ferocious Logics: Unmaking the Algorithm


How is the subject constructed by technologically mediated platforms? The algorithmic system of Uber is explored, a labor platform which connects passengers with self-employed 'driver-partners'. The understanding of the labouring body maintained via these operations is highly informatic. From onboarding to on-the-road, the driver-partner is continuously reinforced as something ethereal and vestigial—a grouping of informational fields, a minimal human programme still required to pilot a vehicle within a highly scaled architecture of servers and software. However this informatic identity fails to fully exhaust the possibilities in the corporeal. In Bryant's terminology (2014), the intersection of the driver and rider bodies is something closer to a ViolentFlesh-Passenger Machine, a machine that operates through alleged acts of assault, theft, rape, and strangulation. The discrepancy between this litany of violence and the informational imaginary indicates the fundamental indeterminacy of the algorithmically infused subject. Despite performances designed to deliver seamlessly regulated labor and logistical experiences, these cases exemplify a latent level of contingency that can never be coded away.


Luke Munn uses the body and code, objects and performances to activate relationships and responses. His projects have featured in the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Fold Gallery London, Causey Contemporary Brooklyn and the Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum, with commissions from Aotearoa Digital Arts, and TERMINAL. He is a Studio Supervisor at Whitecliffe College of Art & Design and a current PhD candidate at Western Sydney University.