Archives

An archive will be created for each of the case-studies in the research project. Over the course of 9 months, a large selection of popular and grey literature, technical blog posts and rich media will be collected from online and academic sources in order to develop an archive unique to each case-study. These will be continually analysed over the same period, providing insights into the dominant discourse and ongoing imaginary connected to each algorithmic ecology. Particularly of interest here are the temporal properties of the archive. Comparing documents months apart allows us to uncover adaptations either in the algorithm itself or in its wider mediation. These strategic shifts are often elicited by perceived problems or paradoxes within this ecology. An archive of Uber, for example, would contain a diverse selection of material from sources such as the Uber Engineering blog, the Press Centre, Wired, the Verge and the Times of India. This archive would reveal, for instance, that the recent shift from the ‘safe ride fee’ to the term ‘booking fee’ signals inconsistencies between the official Uber imaginary and the passenger experience.