Modern Solutions Require Modern Problems

The exhibition Modern Solutions Require Modern Problems by Swedish artist Jonas Lund consists of a series of works exploring opaque algorithmic ranking systems and the increasing loss of agency online. The main body of the work consists of personalised signs, each presenting and ranking different aspects of Lund’s activity and emotional status, from happiness to productivity. Each ranking is the result of a different algorithm, written and composed by Lund, in order to make visible the aspects of his performance as an artist that typically remain unknown, how much trust his works inspire and how that, in turn, affects his happiness. By juxtaposing his own personal happiness in relation to opaque and large scale systems, Lund aims to explore the consequences and limits of algorithms and the rule book of avoiding responsibility as the current defaults for automatic decision-making and influencing processes.

Society has come to recognise that the current solutions presented by Silicon Valley startups often create more problems than solutions. From Airbnb and Uber to Google, Amazon and Facebook, etc., what is typically presented as a ground-breaking world-altering technological innovation quickly erodes political and social institutions with one main goal in mind: to maximise profits for shareholders. At the centre of this ideology lies the belief that all aspects of human behaviour can and should be measured. Thus, vast datasets of signals, preferences and parameters have become the foundation for data-driven algorithmic decision-making processes – how can we squeeze another 0.5% profit out of this transaction, how can we maximize the return on our investment in any given scenario, regardless of whom it affects, as long as it pleases the shareholders. The algorithm has become the ruler, the solution, the seemingly unbiased decision maker that functions as the justification for any arbitrary profit-driven decision.

How do you counter a “solution” with a problem and think of alternative narratives to relentless technological innovations? In Modern Solutions Require Modern Problems Lund will present a new work in which he is exploring, subverting, satrising and portraying the current infrastructure of the internet and the different aspects of this problematic binary.

For the last decade, Swedish artist Jonas Lund has been developing a consistent body of work, focused on contemporary networked systems and power structures of control. If there is a system to analyse, pick apart and reverse engineer, Lund will tackle it. A unique artist whose works are equally relevant in the gallery space as well as online through the development of net specific projects and websites, Jonas Lund attempts to portray the increasing algorithmisation of our daily life, from our daily web experience to economics, from art making to the art market.

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