The Algorithmic Pedestal

Oxford’s Internet Institute, January 12th-17th 2023, J/M Gallery, London.

The Algorithmic Pedestal is an exhibit designed for Laura Herman and Oxford’s Internet Institute at J\M Gallery in London. Curated by Laura Herman with Artist Fabienne Hess, the exhibition poses an urgent question: machinic ways of seeing have infiltrated our visual culture, driving what is created, what is visible, and who reaps the benefits. By comparing human and algorithmic curation decisions, the exhibition highlights how machine ways of seeing are shaping visual culture. Visitors are invited to explore images curated by artist Fabienne Hess alongside images curated by Instagram’s algorithm.

The design is composed of modular and curved mild steel profiles that can be assembled in potentially endless ways. On the occasion of The Algorithmic Pedestal, the exhibition is composed of three simple elements: a wall display, a curtain track and a low table. If the rigidity of mild steel reminds us of the repetitive and schematic process behind the algorithm, the soft curves applied to the same material recall the flexibility and the organic thinking behind human thoughts.

The exhibit is part of Laura Herman’s PhD at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, supported by the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council. This exhibit has been funded by the Oxford-Minderoo AI Challenge Fund.


Dr. Caterina Moruzzi, Laura Herman, Dr. Kathryn Eccles, Oxford Internet Institute.

Fabienne Hess.

Exhibition design team:
Luca Marullo, Motong Yang, Stefano Colombo, Eugenio Cosentino.

Graphic design:
Weezy Dai.

William Sparrow, Silk Bureau.