The manipulation and control of public opinion has always been in the interest of both governments and corporations. Fake news can be seen as the effect of monetized and militarized surveillance; they are also a constitutive element of what is referred to as cyberwarfare. Conducted against users who are themselves often complicit, cyberwars always remain masked. They involve multiple forms of hacking: from espionage and denial-of-service attacks to malware that targets critical infrastructure. Involved parties can be human—but also nonhuman, as in the case of bot-nets and chat-bots. Their heterogeneous war assemblages, among them troll farms and filter bubbles, operate unseen as they affect the users’ attention. They create distrust or even fear; they escape understanding by generating noise and obliterating proof. Aiming to unfold the complexity of cyberwar, the panel will look looking into its hidden architectures, affective dimensions, and ways of extracting value.
Presented in cooperation with Winchester School of Arts.