Rachel Coldicutt: Women, Plandids, Power

Rachel Coldicutt: Women, Plandids, Power Michael Coghlan, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/8603681483

I’m going to talk about clothes and body image and identity, and the way that Instagram and other kinds of new technology are changing and challenging how women are seen, and how we see ourselves. And about the importance of whose gaze we’re looking through: men’s, women’s, or robots.

What I’m going to call “the fashion internet” is interesting to me because it’s mostly out of sight of mainstream technology commentary.

From a technical perspective it’s understood that there is, at the moment, a single Internet — an open network of networks in which everything is connected. But not everyone has the same experience of those networks — there is not a single experience that defines the digital world.

It’s fashionable to call this a filter bubble, but it’s no more or less a bubble than the rest of our lives: the networks we inhabit are constructed by our interests, our backgrounds, the people we know. This isn’t simply a consequence of algorithms or personalisation, it’s also because no one can see everything — there’s no digital omniscience.

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