Taste and the algorithm

Emanuele Arielli


Today, a consistent part of our everyday interaction with art and aesthetic artefacts occurs through digital media, and our preferences and choices are systematically tracked and analyzed by algorithms in ways that are far from transparent. Our consumption is constantly documented, and then, we are fed back through tailored information. We are therefore witnessing the emergence of a complex interrelation between our aesthetic choices, their digital elaboration, and also the production of content and the dynamics of creative processes. All are involved in a process of mutual influences, and are partially determined by the invisible guiding hand of algorithms. With regard to this topic, this paper will introduce some key issues concerning the role of algorithms in aesthetic domains, such as taste detection and formation, cultural consumption and production, and showing how aesthetics can contribute to the ongoing debate about the impact of today’s “algorithmic culture”.


Algorithm; Taste; Aesthetic consumption

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