Vectoral Spring: Diagrams for Critical Algorithmic Practice
David Benqué


In the current regime of algorithmic prediction, the future is being computed in real-time. This process is of a spatial nature: past data are vectorised into mathematical spaces where predictions are produced through geometric operations. The results are folded back onto the present, reshaping it as a distorted image of the past optimised for certain variables (profit, attention capture, engagement, etc). The negative effects of these prescriptive mechanisms are well documented and continue to unfold.

Design is involved with them in various capacities, from the implementation of interfaces to the aestheticisation of an imaginary "artificial intelligence".

In this talk, David Benqué argues that design can engage critically with algorithmic prediction using diagrams as a language. Diagrams accurately describe the inner workings of algorithmic processes while also surfacing broader social and political ramifications, all while speaking to the spatial sensibilities/practices of design. This language can be mobilised to dig deep into the algorithmic systems and the rationalities that they support, making them available for excavation, examination, manipulation, and critique.

David Benqué

David Benqué is a designer and researcher from Paris France, living and working in London UK. He is a recent PhD graduate from the Royal College of Art. His thesis proposes diagrams as a language to critically investigate algorithmic prediction. His research operates through design practice while borrowing methodology from media archaeology and the digital humanities.


Wednesday 25th November
Start time  – 6:30pm

Themes: Algorithmic prediction, governance and the capture of the future

HYBRID FUTURES: Hosting a series of critical talks with leading-edge practitioners and thinkers around the interaction between humans and machines, curated and led by Dr Betti Marenko, Reader in Design and Techno-Digital Futures at the University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins. Learn More
To find out more about the partners click here

To find out more about the programme and new events sign up here

Digital Innovation Season Team