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Syntegration against the platform: Experimentation with the Team Syntegrity protocol for viable institutional forms that counter the logic of algocracy in institutions of contemporary art

Hill, J (2021) Syntegration against the platform: Experimentation with the Team Syntegrity protocol for viable institutional forms that counter the logic of algocracy in institutions of contemporary art. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

This thesis forms part of a practice-led research project that proposes, tests and evaluates group organising and decision-making processes suitable for both collaborative artistic practice and organisational structures within institutions of contemporary art. Starting from a critique of the algorithmic governance of online platforms—understood as algocracy—this thesis looks at the ways in which similar processes operate offline, arguing that the central logic of platforms—the platform-user relation—is also in operation in the institutions of contemporary art. This research aims to find alternatives to algocracy through a practice component consisting of a series of experiments with Team Syntegrity, the group discussion and decision-making protocol developed in the 1990s by British management cybernetician Stafford Beer. Identifying key processes through which algocratic power operates in the platform-user relations—opacity, visibility, predictability and categorisation—the thesis suggests that these experimental syntegrations allow for credible creative activity and persistent organisational forms. Such structures can harness the power of platforms while avoiding the authoritarianism of algocracy and the platform-user relation, instead enhancing the credibility, creativity and subjectivisation. Rather than replacing existing institutions, syntegrations can force adaptations that require them to break with algocratic governance and platform logic.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: art, Stafford Beer, Team Syntegrity, Cybernetics, Contemporary Art
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Art & Design
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2021 11:00
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2021 11:02
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00015789
Supervisors: Byrne, J, Wright, M and Fallows, C
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15789

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