Anastasiya, Letizia, and Ying-Tzu – or Slutty Urbanism – warn you against the hostile and pervert form of exploitation you are a part of. But they do so inconsistently. Experimenting with different forms of critiquing digital enclosures, Slutty Urbanism annoys and irritates. Please, do not expect any clarity.
Recently, Platform Austria has crossed SU’s erratic path. ‘How We Live Together?’ was the topic that united contributions that comprise the 17th edition of Venice Architecture Biennale. Invited as bloggers-in-residence, Slutty Urbanism joined the conversation on together-ness by asking the following question: What do digital platforms do? Whom and how do they exploit, and what is to be done?
Here is how the Austrian Pavilion defines its goal:
“By reorganizing access to a wide spectrum of fundamental domains, such as education, housing, health care, or even political information, platforms are destined to become the most powerful players regulating the way we live in cities. Digital platforms such as Facebook, Uber, Airbnb and Amazon are not only new types of enterprises but also a completely new culture of life—from the products we handle and the services we use every day to entire urban neighbourhoods that will be built by major platform enterprises in the next few years. These multi-scalar changes raise significant questions about the social potentials and risks of the architecture of these all-encompassing ecosystems.”
To speak of the forms of exploitation, SU suggests its own genre/gender-bending response: a digital auto-play, a set of scenes to be read out loud. It takes digital platforms that comprise exploited workers – humans, as well as algorithms – as its main protagonist. “Glitches from the Pandemic” explores such a more-than-human constellation of exploitation, extraction, and pleasurability. In the play, you are stuck within the platform urbanism – a space in which it is not yet clear what tech companies do to our cities, to once municipal services, to city governments, and to the algorithmic bodies we carry.
> Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer (Centre for Global Architecture) are the curators of the Austrian contribution (PLATFORM AUSTRIA) to the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021
> With contributions by Tom Avermaete, Teddy Cruz & Fonna Forman, Vyjayanthi Rao, Saskia Sassen and Slutty Urbanism, among many others