The Medium is the Machine

Jeff Ong

How is algorithm mediating my worldview? Could a computer system come to represent me in a deep way? Using my personal media consumption habits as fodder, I created twitter bots, network graphs, and data plots to address these questions firsthand.


Marshall McLuhan suggested that “all media work us over completely”.

My thesis is an attempt to reconcile with the notion that today no idea arrives before it’s shaped, filtered, and determined by an algorithm.

Via software experiments analyzing my own media consumption, I’ve made a series of computational self-portraits that represent my worldview as defined by algorithm. Each portrait is created using some public or commercial AI + machine learning services — services that promise understanding and insight.

By opening myself up for examination and critique, my hope is to generate discussion among hyper-connected media consumers around the role computational modeling plays in mediating reality and perception of ourselves.