Along it. Around it. Against it. For an algorithmic counter-design

A dissertation presented to the Royal College of Art in October 2014 by Francesco Tacchini. It exerts a cultural critique of the central role of computation in visual culture by conducting an enquiry into the notion of the algorithm and its emergence as a medium, and to further advance a design methodology which critically approaches it. Tacchini proposes that algorithms are today the fundamental unit for the production of art or design, whether consciously used or not. Their ubiquitous appearance and ambivalent use in the visual arts pose new questions: how does computation assists the proliferation and transmission of visual culture? What does it mean to accept the algorithm as both medium and end product, having acknowledged the techno-political implications of its ambivalent role? In other words, how can the designer critically approach the algorithm?