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Thesis Format



Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Mellamphy, Nandita B


This thesis is about futures which are inscribed in the present. It is about the past determining the future and the future determining the present. It is also about artificial intelligence, algorithmic learning and the politics of mediums as they curate our sense of time. Today’s landscape is curated by algorithmic machines that are quickly taking over all aspects of social relations. Looking at media-theorist Wendy H.K. Chun’s analysis of homophily (i.e., love of sameness; commonality), I observe the regionality of standard critiques of capital and feel out new modes of resistance which do away with the discourse of the “commons” so very prevalent in philosophical critiques of political economy and technology. Turning to thinkers like Wendy H.K. Chun, Sylvia Wynter, Alexander Galloway, Bernard Stiegler and Françoise Laruelle, I look at how the politics of commonality are embedded in the technologies which surround us, both in the mainstream as well as in critical thought.

Summary for Lay Audience

Today’s landscape is curated by algorithmic machines that are quickly taking over all aspects of social organization. The chapter ‘Algorithmic Forces’ will outline media-theorist Wendy H.K. Chun’s concept of homophily (i.e., love of sameness) and draw on theorists of artificial intelligence and political economy through this conceptual term to outline problematics over algorithmic technologies spanning across analog and digital history. In the following chapter I discuss how one’s sense of time, of past and future, is curated by technologies available in people’s environment. In media studies there is increasing interest in the colonial and heteropatriarchal understandings of our socio-technical milieus both in the neoliberal mainstream as well the space of critique. Looking at time a bit suspiciously, I suggest that time as it is presented through standard philosophy is curated by its technology of philosophizing, which remains algorithmic or stratified under historical protocols that tabulate resistive thought. To summon resistive forces against the hyper-organizational mechanisms of the present is to reject the curated set of choices given to us in determining the future. What is being curated by capital is the sense of time or futurity, and even in the space of critique, there are still algorithmic tendencies that draw false commonalities or correlations which mirror rather than oppose the mainstream flows of power. This paper considers algorithmic thought in all its forms.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.