illuminating the many ways spam mediates our social world through design, installations and field experiments
in the early days of the internet, email spam was an eclectic yet pervasive part of the digital world. despite being a nuisance, its euntrepreneurial authenticity spoke to a web that was transparent, absurd and clear in intention. now, the world is steeped in the hypermediation of targetted advertisement, digital a/b testing and the commodification of social media. instead of the internet with traces of spam, we now consume spam with traces of the internet.
spam church is an antidote for the modern soul, providing digital interaction that subverts the spamminess we have all come to consume without really knowing it. it is both an art collective and an aggregator of content from artists across the cyberverse that try to take back the internet from its colonizers and corporate overlords.
the first mass-scale, consumer-centered global deployment of corporate machine learning was spam filtering. these corporations' algorithms cut their teeth their filtering trillions of grandma's birthday e-cards and business offerings of nigerian princes. ai was celebrated as a tool for removing the spamminess of the world ala Bayesian Filtering.
Today, the story is the opposite: these filtering algorithms are now the central producers of spam, Throughout its fit with spam, ai has learned over what grabs our attention and what doesn't. As a result, AI today overwhelmingly creates digital experiences that are carefully optimized for Impressions, Reach, Engagement Rate, CPM, Click Through Rate and Page Views. What's missing is the surprise and novelty that can only come from self-discovery
we are not on social media. you cannot or spam church. there are, however, two ways to get involved: