Under the Calculative Gaze

The project investigates how socially applied AI is not only directly intertwined with unresolved injustices of our current system, but actually enables a transition towards authoritarianism that is present in the technology industry itself, in the politics of various countries and institutions, and in the rise of far-right political movements. AI is a political technology because it ‘offers greater social efficiency through acts of exclusion and segregation’ (McQuillan).

Targets of the extensive digital control and algorithmic optimization are typically “low-rights environments,” where expectations of political responsibility and transparency are low. To counteract this, collective practices of self-organization are presented, where positions of social and political disadvantage give rise to solidarity across differences and beyond models of algorithmic governance.



No to AI, Yes to a Non-fascist Apparatus

The video No to AI, Yes to a Non-fascist Apparatus looks at the way AI not only sustains existing structural injustices but intensifies neoliberal inequalities. With mathematical separations that ‘repeat the trick of ranking and ordering being’, particularly in the ideas of worth, greater worth, and less worth, AI expands different dimensions of necropolitics from within systems that are already enabling forms of exclusion and harm. The narrator of No to AI, Yes to a Non-fascist Apparatus is Dan McQuillan, who authored the text for the video, which features animated 3D scans of actual places of resistance.


With the use of mesmerising photogrammetry, the artist constellates different localities and situated testimonies, aligned by the commonality of their struggle for better social conditions. From 56a Infoshop, a DIY and self-managed social centre in South London, through tensegrity structures used in an Amazon warehouses blockade, to Rozbrat, a centre of independent social and cultural activity in Poznan. These grassroots networks of solidarity are forms of counter power that challenge the processes of extraction and exclusion from a perspective that is fundamentally relational.

1s and 0s, haves and have-nots

No matter how visible its toxicity, AI is being put to use today as an enabler of social divisions. AI’s capacities to see and classify society as categories of actuarial risk are enrolled to prevent certain people from accessing loans, benefits, work, pain relief, or whole countries, meaning that the technology enacts specific relations of power.

1s and 0s, haves and have-nots sets up a highly systematized and informational environment with more than a hundred concrete examples of where the applications of probabilistic algorithms and AI systems has led to discriminatory and harmful practices. A series of posters are based on corporate design (IBM’s Carbon Design System) and feature stock images.


Workers’ Initiative: Union

The video Workers’ Initiative: Union features Magda Malinowska, who worked in a Polish Amazon warehouse for six years and is a representative with the grassroots union Inicjatywa Pracownicza (IP), or Workers’ Initiative in English. Amazon tries to break any organization workers build to fight for their health and their lives. In its effort to suppress labour resistance across the workplace, the company handed Magda a dismissal notice on November 9th, 2021. The video records her experience of shop floor organizing, the possibility of using union as a tool to strengthen workers in their fight against the corporate system where they are treated like numbers, their bodies squeezed past the point of exhaustion, and then discarded.


In 2018, Inicjatywa Pracownicza convinced Poland’s National Labor Inspectorate to measure workers’ “energy expenditure” – calories burned during a shift. The examination results showed that some women expended two to three times more energy than the legal limit. While fighting to get reinstated, Magda continues to organize with the international Amazon worker movement.


We [workers] have to keep fighting and support each other. We have to organize together. Without us, our bosses don’t exist. They cannot make profits.

(Magda Malinowska)

Workers’ Initiative: Resistance

Agnieszka Mróz has been working at the first Amazon warehouse in Poznan, Poland, since it opened in 2014. She is also a union organiser, Workers’ Initiative (Inicjatywa Pracownicza – IP) shop steward and a member of Amazon Workers International coalition. The video presents her insight into the e-commerce company’s exploitative practices, and how workers are fighting back. While the big media covers the working conditions at Amazon in a way that is too often dehumanizing, victimizing, and patronizing for workers—as if there is no resistance—workers are busy self-organizing within the warehouse.


Workers’ Initiative, a grassroots worker-to-worker union founded in the early 2000s, believes that the way workers build power is in the workplace, and that this is how the labor movement should grow, on the shop floor. According to Agnieszka, you have to be on the inside to know how the whole network is working, and to recognize the moments in the circulation of goods when the organizing of workers can directly affect the production and economically harm the company, because this is when your demands will be heard.

Technical director: Andrej Primožič
Author of the essay ‘No to AI, Yes to a Non-fascist Apparatus’: Dan McQuillan
Visual image and graphic design: Jaka Neon
3D animation: Toni Mlakar
Audio post-production: Julij Zornik
Video post-production: Teleking


With contributions from:

inside Amazon
Jessieslyfe95 | YT: jessieslyfe9516, Hai | YT: HaiandTerrie, Edwin | YT: EdwinLaCroix, Mark Guillermo | YT: maakudesuyo, Rizza Amor | YT: rizzaamortonidadventurousb6305, Golden Serenity | YT: goldenserenity9087, Live Stream, Cavion | YT: caviion, Samari Manning | YT: SamariJane, Baaldoo | YT: baaldoo8309, Christin Knight | YT: ChristinLeRay

OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza: Referendum in Szczecin and Wroclaw, Poland, summer 2019
Hedi Tounsi | ver.di: Amazon strike in Winsen in Lower Saxony, Germany, Oct 9, 2022
Jacqueline Serrato | South Side Weekly: Chicago Amazonians strike, Apr 4, 2020
Stuart Richards | GMB Midlands: Black Friday Rally at Amazon Coventry, UK, Nov 25, 2022
Amazon walk outs | Amazon workers walk out over pay rise at the Amazon BHX4 site in Coventry, UK, Aug 9, 2022
Amazon Workers International | AWI action in Leipzig, Nov 3, 2017
Extinction Rebellion | Amazon warehouses blockade across the UK, Nov 26, 2021


Production: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2023

In the framework of: konS – Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art


Photos: Domen Pal / Aksioma, Katja Goljat & Matjaž Rušt / konS