workshop: Reinventing the Political Compass: How to increase digital self-awareness in the age of Social Media
with Francesca Del Bono (designer, curator), Noel David Nicolaus (researcher, curator), Tommaso Cappelletti (designer, videomaker), Björn Heerssen (designer, conceptor) / Clusterduck Collective
In an age of drastic socio-political transformation, the familiar image of the political compass – two cartesian axes, delimiting four fields distinguished by soft, pastel colors – has become a powerful symbol in its own right: a memetic effigy, one might say, representing our desperate desire to map the chaos surrounding us. Transversal to political and professional groups, it can be seen on art catalogues, dank meme pages, academic papers or politigram groups. Drawing inspiration from a set of researchers and scholars ranging from Gabriella Coleman to Anastasia Denisova, Clusterduck wants to focus on the compass as a tool for the collective, participative investigation of online behavior.
After a very short introduction to the young history and controversial origins of the political compass, the workshop will proceed to deconstruct its constitutive elements. Together with the participants, the heuristic and epistemological limits and potentials of the compass will be tested and applied to the field of social media platforms. Through a series of participative exercises, the digital personas and online habits of the participants will be mapped and used for the creation of a dataset. Finally, the workshop will result in the creation of a new, operable model of the compass.
Clusterduck is an interdisciplinary collective working at the crossroads of research, design and transmedia, focusing on the processes and actors behind the creation of Internet-related content. Over the course of a year, Clusterduck has come to build a large network of digital creators, engaging on the research chats, groups and initiatives launched by the collective. Among the latest projects is the online exhibition #MEMEPROPAGANDA, hosted by greencube.gallery.