Animist Infrastructures: Bots, Net-Works and Imagining a (Socialist) AI

PhD Seminar Series, 18 October 2023

This week’s session will be an artist talk combined with workshop on artistic research, introducing the idea of posthuman relationalities and archive work. Sasha will show work-in-progress on “net – works” – crossovers of bead embroidery, pixel art and diagrams, and will talk about her research in animism.

Procedural animism is an investigation into algorithmic agents, or digital artefacts that can be perceived as operating autonomously: bots and chatbots, AI companions and therapists, recommendation systems, non-player characters, and voice assistants. In her work, Sasha explores how algorithmic agents can be seen as algorithmic Others, whose outlines reveal not only human fears and hopes for technology but also how normative “humanness” is constructed. Drawing on feminist studies of science and technology, she critiques currently dominant narratives of AI and looks into alternative future imaginaries of human-machine relationality.

Alexandra (Sasha) Anikina is a researcher and media artist. She is a Senior Lecturer in Media Practices at Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton) and Programme Co-Lead for MA Global Media Management.  Her work focuses on digital and algorithmic visual culture, imaginaries of technology and AI, image politics, feminist studies of science and technology, affective infrastructures and technological conditions of knowledge production, governance, labour and affect. As an artist, she works with the moving image, computer simulation and lecture-performances.

Recent publications

Alexandra Anikina, 2022 , Digital Culture and Society , 7 (2) , 117–136
Type: Article
Alexandra Anikina, 2022 , A Peer-Reviewed Journal About , 11 (1) , 134–151
Type: Article