Started: 2022

Time/labour: ︎︎︎︎

Thanks to: UTS students Abbie, Amy, Annie, Diego, Eleanor, Helen, Jack, James, Jay, Jessie, Joseph, Julien, Kent, Kimberley, Lucy, Rahul, Sean, Seja, Solei, Sophie, Rodger and Timi, and anonymous AIs

citizen journalism // media // futures // collaboration // speculative fiction // text // technology // non-human // A.I.


Image: Make or Break, Citizen J, 2022, worksession in progress at UTS. Photo by Jacquie Manning.
CITIZEN J is a collaboration between art collective Make or Break and tertiary students who are interested in understanding media subjectivity and the tools being developed and used by media empires, corporations and nation states to influence our understanding of truth. This project enables students to play with a series of critical and creative tools – including media analysis, language shaping, news scraping, futuring, speculative writing and machine learning – to generate a series of future newsfeeds.

Citizen J manifests for audiences as a continuous stream of speculative headlines and stories displayed live on LED news tickers at the university and online via a digital intervention on the university website. These headlines and stories are updated as the project unfolds, and are generated through a range of processes: “personalised” headlines devised using collaborators’ social media and search histories; current headlines scraped from news sites and re-imagined through machine learning; headlines and stories from imagined futures developed in collaboration with AI.

Citizen J is an offshoot of Make or Break’s ongoing project Influence Operation (2019-) which to date has invited citizens to join a series of focused workshops to adopt strategies of power in pursuit of questions around truth, influence and subjectivity.

This project is supported by Create NSW’s Audience Development Fund, a devolved funding program administered by Museums & Galleries of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government. Influence Operation was first commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre & Next Wave Festival, with support from the Australia Council of the Arts.