Communication as Control – Josh Frick

Throughout the readings the theme of communication as a form of control stuck out as a key factor in the discussion. Warren Weaver’s writing in Recent Contributions to the Mathematical Theory of Communication directly addresses that effective communication, by definition affects the behavior of the recipient. When considering the ethical and functional implications of technological augmentations to our bodies such as the Elon Musk neural chip, this control factor is important to keep in mind, because these devises will be communicating with us through explicit and implicit means. Therefore, it would be safe to assume that a certain level of control would be asserted by these machines.

Another take on control comes from the Roy Ascot piece on process based artwork. Despite this writing being quite dated the thoughts put forth about creating through the working process and being less concerned by a final result still rings true to contemporary data driven work. The result of these works can appear as uncontrolled chaos, as interactions with endless possibilities such as Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse exhibit at the Hirshhorn in 2018; however the truth is that there is an amazing amount of control exerted onto these artworks throughout the creative process.