Glossarĭum, 2014

Unfiltered access to knowledge in the digital realm of the Internet
is merely an illusion. Every piece of information obtained online
has been processed by a machine and its algorithmic procedures.
Most people probably do not pay any attention to this filtering, but
even those who do have no way of understanding the logic behind
the procedures. The algorithm responsible for the filtering remains
hidden and obscure and therefore all the more powerful. Glossar˘ıum
points to one of the most widespread yet disguised of these filtering
machines: the Google search engine. By performing an image
search on words taken from Friedrich Engel’s discussions of science
from a Marxist standpoint in the unfinished manuscript Dialectics
of Nature (1883; first published 1925), Glossar˘ıum shows how Google
Search conceptualizes political concepts in misleading, strange, and
absurd ways. Moreover, the work gives visitors access to the actual
manuscript through images of the search embedded in a QR code.
The work thereby reverses the procedure and uses Google Search as a
visual interface to a discussion that is critical of authorities such as
Google Search. The work suggests that filtering can be appropriated
and used as a means of liberation rather than as a means of control.
The work is also accessible online at


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