chapter  4
Schematic Traces: Systems of Making
ByKate Palmer Albers
Pages 39

Contemporary culture today is governed, more than ever, by pervasive, yet largely unseen, networks of code that measure, automate, chart, and predict aspects of individual and collective lives, from helping us to fill online shopping carts to tracking the intimate details of our bodies to determining airfare on a Tuesday morning to populating our social media feeds with just the news we want to consume. Many such processes are run by highly sophisticated and closely guarded algorithms: at root, sequences of action directed by code to produce a particular result. These are systematized yet responsive sequences of code, developed by humans and set into automated motion to provide organization, details, and shape to individually lived experience.