Naomi Waltham-Smith discusses her field-recording praxis examining the opposition to the resurgence of the far right and, via the thought of Jacques Derrida, analyses the intimate yet transforming relationship between listening and democracy.
Scott Wark provided commentary on the longevity of the MK Ultra conspiracy in the United States for an article in Wired. Whilst this article focuses on MK Ultra, it also examines what the continued proliferation of conspiracy stories means for online culture and for contemporary politics. The article can be accessed here: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/mkultra-conspiracy-theory-meme
Naomi Waltham-Smith is currently a fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. She was chosen by juror Ackbar Abbas (Comparative Literature, UC Irvine) for the art, business & science programme in the economy/economics category for a multimedia project entitled “Cart-otographies of Urban Political Economies” which combines field recording with political-philosophical speculation. During her fellowship she will also be visiting the Derrida archive at IMEC to study unedited writings and correspondence that address sound and listening, as well as making a trip to the Cixous archive in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris to study traces of the sonorous in her dream notebooks. She will also be presenting an antifacist silent disco of her field recordings for the Akademie’s annual Sommerfest in June.
The difference a method makes: methods as epistemic objects in computational science
Computational science is intrinsically interdisciplinary; the methods of one scientist may be the objects of study for another. This essay is an attempt to develop an interdisciplinary framework that can analyse research into methods as a distinctive kind of epistemic orientation in science, drawing on two examples from fieldwork with a group of specialists in computer modelling. Where methods for simulation are objects of research in their own right, they are distinct in kind to the objects of simulation, and raise a different set of sociological and philosophical questions. Drawing on the historian Hans-Jorg Rheinberger’s theory of epistemic objects, I ask: what kind of epistemic object does a method make, and how is research organized around it? I argue that methods become objects of research as purposeful things, in terms of their enrolment in the intentional structure of the experimental system. And, as methods research tends to be interventionary, in the sense that its mode of study creates and modifies its objects, we therefore observe a practical recursion, a dynamic of scientific reinvention, a ‘tuning’ of experimental systems that sheds light on the form of these systems’ historicity, their differential self-reproduction.
Craig Gent joined James Butler on a recent edition of the NovaraFM radio show to discuss his research on algorithmic management in the workplace. Craig recently passed his PhD viva in CIM and is a senior editor at Novara Media. His thesis, titled 'The Politics of Algorithmic Management: Class Composition and Everyday Struggle in Distribution Work', revisted the frameworks and methodologies of early autonomist Marxism to explore contemporary developments in computationally-dependent workplaces.
In this one-hour conversation, Craig and James discuss the difference between algorithmic management and automation, prospects for digital resistance, the theology of algorithms, Frederick Winslow Taylor's enthusiasm for swearing, and much more.
Listen on SoundCloud on the link below or find the podcast on your preferred podcast app by searching 'Novara Media'.
Feminist maps of feminicide at UCL Americas Research Network’s 2019 Annual Conference 'Chaos and Crisis in the Americas', 9-10 May, London.
Helena Suárez Val is presenting her work on feminist maps of feminicide at UCL Americas Research Network’s 2019 Annual Conference 'Chaos and Crisis in the Americas', 9-10 May, London
Feminicide, or femicide, names the gender-related violent deaths of women, the tip of the iceberg in a continuum of violence that is "terrorising women" in the Americas (Fregoso & Bejarano, 2010). In 2017, the UN called Latin America and the Caribbean the most violent region in the world for women and feminist activists have responded to this ongoing crisis by intensifying activism on the issue. In recent years, feminist activists across Latin America have been highlighting the phenomenon by creating digital cartographies of feminicide (https://www.genderit.org/es/feminist-talk/datos-y-mapeo-de-feminicidios-visualizar-y-cuestionar), including my own project mapping feminicide in Uruguay (http://feminicidiouruguay.net/). In this paper, through an analysis of cases in Uruguay, Mexico, Ecuador and Spain, I propose that the practice of creating feminist data visualisations constitutes part of an affective oriented to generate change in personal and political responses to feminicide. A feminist activist attempt to move the atmosphere surrounding the crisis of feminicide from indifference to action.
The profound digital transformation of our lives has led to the creation of new datasets that together form a kind of "digital skin of our earth". One of these types of datasets that have emerged recently is geosocial media, i.e. social media posts that contain geographic content and are annotated by GPS coordinates. Geographers and cognate scholars have at their disposal a rich, but technically sophisticated source of information that partly reflects the everyday life of ordinary people. In this talk, methodological aspects will be discussed that are relevant for the spatial analysis of geosocial media data. The focus will thereby be on spatial autocorrelation. This characteristic is fundamental for geographical structure and pattern recognition and thus ensures a broad relevance of the results presented. The talk discusses how the spatial characteristics of geosocial media contributions and the limitations of the information contained in them influence the underlying assumptions of conventional analytical frameworks. It is demonstrated how this infringement of assumptions leads to the disclosure of false patterns and misleading assessments of the strength and nature of spatial associations. The discussion also includes scale issues, which are of particular importance in the geographic context. All these results have been obtained based on two different Twitter datasets, as well as using idealised synthetic data allowing to control spatial characteristics. The talk will conclude with an outlook on possible future directions of spatial analysis (with regard to the analysis of user-generated information), and with establishing a link to the related field of place-based analysis.
The People Like You project is running its first online competition. Win cash prizes for submitting entries (image/text/numeric) on the theme 'People Like You' https://competitions.peoplelikeyou.ac.uk/who-are-people-like-you/ … #PLYcomp #personalisation (Deadline: 30 April)” @personalisePLY
Nerea Calvillo gives the talk “The air as the end of the city?”
as part of THE WORLD/S AT THE ENDS OF THE CITY, EXPLORATIONS IN URBAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL ANTHROPOLOGY Lecture Series, Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, HU Berlin
23 April 2019
The air tends to be absent from urban politics, design, and imaginaries. Usually conceived as that what defines the end of the city, it is actually a structural component of urban environments. Today, its pollution is drawing attention to its agencies. And yet, the only legitimate ways of knowing and responding to air quality are technological “solutions” that are proving not to be enough. One of the reasons, I argue, is because the air’s materiality is not considered in its complexity. So to think about the air as an organic, inorganic, geological, chemical, technological and biological force, challenges our understanding of the city and of the air. To shape an urban cosmopolitics with the air, from a framework at the intersection of science and technologies studies, feminist technoscience and urban political ecologies, I suggest to use the heuristic of a city to identify Madrid’s urban assemblage. Madrid, as a very polluted but average European city, allows to think about the urban air of the every-day, the one that is invisible and mostly imperceptible. The heuristic of the city, as a speculative project, allows to spatialize the air, and makes visible its political and social implications. How can this approach contribute to new framings of the air and the urban?
What does it mean to be with/in the digital? Who (and what) participates with/in the digital? What practices, subjectivities, and materialities emerge through participating with/in the digital? What are the modes of participation with/in the digital? What exclusions/inclusions are enacted with/in the digital? How does power flow with/in the digital? What kinds of research do we do with/in the digital?
Under the topic of With/In Digital, we are going to hold a postgraduate conference in CIM in June 27th, 2019 in PS1. 28, University of Warwick.
Further details here: https://easychair.org/cfp/CIM-PG-2019