at the same time that “the algorithm” actively mobilizes concrete social relations, it occludes these relations by reformatting what qualifies as the social. In its technocratic utopianism, data analytics systems render multidimensional processes into numbers subject to mining, dependent upon a logic of smoothness in order to function.
The “algorithm” is not an idealization, a linguistic tool, or an emergent dispositif. Instead, it collects under its anima concrete materialities. Undeniably, the “algorithm” bends historical materials towards its service.
I consider the algorithm as a political object, as an assemblage of forces that imprints itself on the social as something like “algorithmic governance.” Intrinsic to the design of an “algorthim” are decisions that, when routed through the technocratic administration of computation, transform from ideological commitments into material accounting.