Paolo Cirio’s SOCIALITY documents the era in which man began to be programmed by computers. By collecting patents for digital technologies used to influence human behaviour (registered in the United States in the period 1998–2018), Cirio shows how apps, social media, and other digital infrastructure are used for social manipulation for economic gain. The documents make reference to technological products designed to surveil, control habitual behaviour, and create addictive patterns of social confirmation. Just as animals and plants have for millennia been collected, bred, and sold by man, human social behaviour has now become a commodity.
Paolo Cirio (b.1979 in Turin, Italy) is a New York-based Internet activist and artist engaging with legal, economic, and cultural systems of the information society. His artistic practice investigates social fields impacted by the Internet, such as privacy, copyright, democracy and finance. Cirio received his education in Drama, Art and Music Studies at the University of Turin. His works have been presented at major art institutions, including Gwangju Biennale (2018), Strasbourg Biennale (2018), MIT Museum (2017), Tate Modern (2017).
Courtesy the artist
Gothenburg Museum of Natural History
Image: Paolo Cirio, SOCIALITY, the Coloring Book of Technology for Social Manipulation, 2018. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler