Izložba u ljubljanskoj Aksiomi, foto Domen PalExhibition at Aksioma | Project Space, Ljubljana, photo: Domen Pal / Aksioma

Slovenian interdisciplinary artist Sanela Jahić will present a solo exhibition titled Under the Calculative Gaze at the Filodrammatica Gallery (Korzo 28/1, Rijeka). The exhibition explores the issues and potential responses to the use of artificial intelligence in the everyday lives of numerous groups that occupy lower positions on the social power scale.

The exhibition will open on Thursday, April 4th, at 7 p.m., and will be available for viewing until April 25th.

Gallery opening hours:
MondayFriday 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | 5 – 8 p.m.
Saturday 5 – 8 p.m.
– closed on Sundays and public holidays

 

The project Under the Calculative Gaze investigates how socially applied AI is not only directly intertwined with unresolved injustices of the prevailing socio-economic system, but actually enables a transition towards authoritarianism that is present in the technology industry itself, in the politics of various countries and institutions, and in the rise of far-right political movements. AI reinforces existing power dynamics and, by hierarchically categorising individuals, furthers societal divisions based on exclusionary and ideologically underpinned criteria of value and allocation.

Targets of the extensive digital control and algorithmic optimisation are typically “low-rights environments”, where expectations of political responsibility and transparency are easier to disregard. Counteracting this are collective practices of self-organisation, where positions of social and political disadvantage give rise to solidarity across differences and beyond models of algorithmic governance.

 

PRESENTED WORKS:

No to AI, Yes to a Non-fascist Apparatus 

– video

Sanela Jahić - Screenshot 1, No to AI Yes to a Non-fascist Apparatus

The video No to AI, Yes to a Non-fascist Apparatus looks at the way mathematical separations  ‘repeat the trick of ranking and ordering being’ – particularly in the ideas of worth, greater worth, and less worth – from within systems that are already enabling forms of exclusion and harm. The narrator is Dan McQuillan, who authored the text for the video, which features animated 3D scans of actual places of resistance.

With the use of photogrammetry, the artist constellates different localities and situated testimonies, aligned by the commonality of their struggle for better social conditions. From 56a Infoshop, a DIY and self-managed social centre in South London, through tensegrity structures used in an Amazon warehouses blockade, to Rozbrat, a centre of independent social and cultural activity in Poznan. These grassroots networks of solidarity are forms of counter power that challenge the processes of extraction and exclusion from a perspective that is fundamentally relational.

1s and 0s, haves and have-nots 

– prints

Sanela Jahić _ 1sand0splakati-100x70B1-lezeci-T-1

The ability of AI to understand society and classify it into actuarial risk categories is frequently used to restrict access to loans, subsidies, employment, medical care and pain relief for particular groups of individuals, as well as to prevent them from crossing international borders.

1s and 0s, Haves and Have-Nots is a series of digital graphics that creates a highly standardised pseudo-marketing environment and presents numerous concrete examples of discriminatory and harmful practices proceeding from probabilistic algorithms and applications of AI systems.

Workers’ Initiative: Union

– video

Amazon’s business model represents a significant regression in terms of labor rights. Instead of using technological automation to improve workers’ conditions, the company employs it as a means to exert systematic and vigilant control over their bodies, labor and working environment. Scanners and computers record and analyse every second of a worker’s shift and the resulting data is used to pressure them into reaching the productivity quota generated by algorithms.

In 2018, the grassroots union Inicjatywa Pracownicza (Workers’ Initiative) convinced Poland’s National Labor Inspectorate to measure the energy expenditure of workers during a shift in the warehouse. The results of the examination showed that some employees burned two to three times more calories than the legal limit.

Amazon also relentlessly opposes any organization formed by workers to fight for their rights and better working conditions. Magda Malinowska, who worked in an Amazon warehouse in Poland for six years and is a representative of Inicjatywa Pracownicza, was dismissed in November 2021 when Amazon sought to further suppress workers’ resistance in the workplace. While fighting to get reinstated, she continues to organize with the Amazon Worker International (AWI).

The video Workers’ Initiative: Union records her experience of shop floor organization and of using unions as a powerful tool in the fight against a corporate system that treats workers as mere numbers, pressures their bodies past the point of exhaustion, and then discards them.

Workers’ Initiative: Resistance 

– video

Sanela Jahić - Screenshot 2, Workers' Initiative Resistance

Although the mainstream media portray them as powerless victims of algorithmic capitalism, Amazon workers are busy organising disruptive collective action from inside their warehouses – with a direct impact on the company’s profits.

Those who work on an Amazon shop floor develop a deep understanding of the company’s global production and distribution network, which relies on the labour of more than 1.5 million workers operating in virtually identical logistic centres around the world. As this is a highly standardised working environment, all employees share the same problems and seek to unite to address them. For its part, the company exploits every possible circumstance and legislative disparity in the countries where it operates to inhibit any kind of cohesion among employees.

Workers resist by organising themselves transnationally and sharing information about their struggles and strategies. Amazon Workers International (AWI), a grassroots network of exchange, support and solidarity, uses Amazon’s global chain of warehouses to exert coordinated and distributed pressure on the company.

Agnieszka Mróz, a union organiser and member of AWI and Inicjatywa Pracownicza, has been working at Amazon’s first warehouse in Poland since its inception in 2014. In the video Workers’ Initiative: Resistance she gives an insight into the company’s exploitative practices and the workers’ fightback.

 

SANELA JAHIĆ

UNDER THE CALCULATIVE GAZE

Galerija Filodrammatica, Korzo 28/1, Rijeka

4 – 25 April, 2024

 
EXHIBITION OPENING:
Thursday, 4 April, at 7 p.m.

GALLERY OPENING HOURS:
Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | 5 – 8 p.m.
Saturday 5 – 8 p.m.
(closed on Sundays and public holidays; contact us to arrange another time of your visit)
  

Sanela Jahić Rijeka plakat B2

 

Technical director: Andrej Primožič

Author of the essay ‘No to AI, Yes to a Non-fascist Apparatus’: Dan McQuillan

Visual image and graphic design: Jaka Neon

3D animation: Toni Mlakar

Audio post-production: Julij Zornik

Image post-production: Art Rebel 9

Thanks: Magda Malinowska, Agnieszka Mróz, Inicjatywa Pracownicza, Matti, Lenart J. Kučić, Extinction Rebellion, Jacqueline Serrato / South Side Weekly, Hedi Tounsi

Production: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2023

Produced in the framework of konS – Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art

 


 

SANELA JAHIĆ

sanelajahic.com

Sanela Jahić (1980, Kranj) graduated in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana in 2008, and received her master’s degree in 2010 in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Jahić is an intermedia artist, who constructs visual and technologically supported kinetic objects and installations. Her artistic practice often involves collaboration with specialists for mechanical engineering, automation, software and electronics. She lives and works in Škofja Loka. Jahić has exhibited her work in numerous shows in Slovenia and abroad. (Photo: Domen Pal / Aksioma)
Sanela Jahić, foto Domen Pal, Aksioma

Annual Archive

Annual Archive

Annual Archive

ARCHIVE SEARCH