Citizen J is a collaboration between art collective Make or Break and UTS 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.

A continuous stream of speculative headlines and stories is displayed live on LED news tickers at UTS Central and via a digital intervention here on the UTS Gallery & Art Collection website. This speculative news from 2062 has been generated by 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, in collaboration with anonymous AIs and Make or Break.

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.

For more information about the artists, visit makeorbreakart.com

Image: Make or Break (Connie Anthes and Rebecca Gallo) with Citizen J, 2022. Photo: Jacquie Manning.

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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.