Elina Smith
BA (Hons) Fine Art and Curating

Elina Smith

autonomous user

Elina Smith is an artist and curator whose work explores the human experience as mediated by the internet. Her practice has navigated various subjects including online / offline identity; the bizarre juxtapositions between the content part of a singular media feed and the emotional effects caused by the sustained consumption of image saturated digital media.

Smith works physically, predominantly in drawing and printmaking. By decontextualizing images collected from digital media and placing them into physical print, she highlights the disjointed and fragmented quality by which they are organised and encountered online.

Influenced by ex Silicon Valley computer scientist, Jaron Lanier’s critical texts, Smith is currently focused on the unsettling capability of social media algorithms to constrict an individual's web experience. These algorithms are engineered to fine tune individual user content with the ambition to make the user’s interests more predictable and therefore more easily targetable for marketing, which profits advertisers and big tech.

In protest to the commodification of human identity in this way, Smith creates datasets which include a political ideology, a protest, hobby, musical genre, cuisine, location, livelihood and preferred news source which she frequently updates and feeds into her social media searches. This process removes user predictability and dismantles the algorithm's ability to narrow the field of content which it exposes the user to, in turn making it more difficult to manipulate the user as a profit making tool.