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In Google We (mis)Trust: searching for search alternatives

New SHAPE postdoc Renée Ridgway has joined the Digital Activism project to investigate alternative search engines and their rankings.

Postdoc Renée Ridgway

As an artistic practitioner taking up the role of a critical designer in a digital democracy, Renée aims to create various opportunities for digital activism by searching for search alternatives. Situated at the interstices of critical design, feminist STS and software studies, the research will explore diverse objects, artefacts and tools, focussing on three different sites of investigation: One of the project’s objectives is to investigate alternative search engines and their rankings (outputs), comparing Google results with other search engines through data visualisations. Additionally, it will explore interface interactions, how algorithmic suggestions––autocomplete––influence user choice when entering queries (inputs) by capturing screenshots. The project also aims to map alternatives as ‘critical cartographies’, illuminating artistic projects that encompass diverse approaches to search.