Black Box Cartography – A critical cartography of the Internet and beyond


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In recent years, our online environment has become increasingly populated by artificial agents of various forms. Our ability to understand and investigate such systems is becoming increasingly important  as more and more processes in our lives are mode- rated by AI-based technologies and complex algorithms. However, our understanding of them is still  extremely limited.

Over the past few years, Vladan Joler has been working (with the help of a network of data analysts, media theorists and cyber forensic experts) to bring to light some of the hidden layers of these systems. From the invisible algorithmic factory of Facebook to the visual and conceptual assemblage of a new extraction model, Joler’s representational tactics take us into the depths of today’s technological ecosystems. Drawing on the tradition of critical cartography, his maps attempt to unfold the black box of digital infrastructures. Thus, a seemingly simple and innocuous device like the Amazon Echo reports on the exploitation of natural and human  resources, material and immaterial forms of extractivism, AI taxonomy and classification systems.

Black Box Cartography presents, for the first time together, Vladan Joler’s most important projects: Facebook Algorithmic Factory (2016, with SHARE Lab), Anatomy of an AI System (2018, with Kate Crawford), The Nooscope Manifested (2020, with Matteo Pasquinelli), and New Extractivism (2020).