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Feminicide & Machine Learning presentation at MD4SG '20

As part of MD4SG '20 4th Workshop on Mechanism Design for Social Good (August 17-19, 2020), CIM doctoral student Helena Suárez Val will be participating in the presentation of a work-in-progress paper: ‘Feminicide & Machine Learning: Detecting Gender-based Violence to Strengthen Civil Sector Activism’, co-authored with Catherine D'Ignazio, Silvana Fumega, Harini Suresh, Isadora Cruxên, Wonyoung So, María De Los Angeles Martínez and Mariel García-Montes.

Abstract: Gender-related violence against women and its lethal outcome, feminicide, are a serious problem in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), as they are in the rest of the world. Although governments have passed legislation criminalizing feminicide, these laws have not been accompanied by relevant policy nor by robust data collection that measures the scope and scale of the problem. Drawing from Data Feminism, we situate feminicide data as "missing data" and describe the work of activists and civil society organizations who attempt to fill in the gaps by compiling incidents of feminicide from news reports. Activists doing this work face challenges: lack of time and financial resources, difficulties in accessing official data, and the mental health burden of reading about violent deaths of women. The paper describes ongoing progress on a participatory action research project designed to help sustain activist efforts to collect feminicide data by partially automating detection using machine learning.

Full details of the programme and registration for the event here:


Thu 13 Aug 2020, 16:37 | Tags: front-page-2

The use of ears: Agamben overhearing Derrida overhearing Heidegger

As scholars continue to take stock of Agamben’s L’Uso dei corpi, it is clear that there is much that we’ve already heard before, if only faintly, in earlier parts of the Homo Sacer project. This finale echoes repeated attacks on the presuppositional structure of language, showing Agamben to be a thinker of the unthought and one who, as Derrida observes, claims he is the first to think the unthought. With deliberate irony, I excavate two unthoughts in L’Uso dei corpi that remain as yet unspoken among critical responses.

First, Agamben’s longstanding entanglement with deconstruction goes without any explicit mention in this text beyond subtle allusions to earlier or potential encounters. While Kevin Attell has rigorously examined the relationship between Agamben and Derrida up to 2005, I argue that this more recent, albeit silent, confrontation clarifies the proximity and distance between them. I set Agamben’s use alongside Derrida’s deconstruction of metaphorical usure, arguing that both are ultimately concerned with the Heideggerian theme of the withdrawal of being. I examine to what extent use succeeds in its ambition to deactivate the presuppositional logic of the transcendental.

Second, notwithstanding his preoccupations with sound and sense, there is another Heideggerianism that Agamben doesn’t thematize as such: hearing. Reading Agamben’s sparse references to aurality alongside Derrida’s extensive engagement, I reconfigure Peter Szendy’s overhearing specifically as an usure of the ear. Using the concept to describe how the protagonists mishear one another in trying to hear too much, I overhear the dissonant resonances through which deconstruction remains the presupposition of Agamben’s thought. I argue that an abandonment of the transcendental asks that nothing remain unheard, only modified by the ear.


Wed 15 Jul 2020, 13:51 | Tags: front-page-2

Calvillo's In the Air at “Eco-Visionaries: Confronting a planet in a state of emergency” (Royal Academy of Arts)

Exhibition dates: 23 November - 23 February 2020.

In The Air, an air pollution visualisation project led by Nerea Calvillo is exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts as part of the international exhibition “Eco-Visionaries: Confronting a planet in a state of emergency”, opening to the public this Saturday 23 November. Two pieces will be on display: The video In The Air 24h (2019), commissioned by the Royal Academy and produced with the support of CIM and the Spanish Embassy, has been developed in collaboration with code designer and artist Martin Nadal (Berlin), sound designer and musician Javier Lara (Mexico City), and photographers Imagen Subliminal (New York-Madrid). The second piece is Histories of Pollution (2010), three models developed in collaboration with Martin Nadal.

Curated by Gonzalo Herrero Delicado, Pedro Gadanho and Mariana Pestana, Eco-Visionaries was originally organised by the MAAT (Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnología) in Lisbon (Portugal), Bildmuseet de Umeå (Sweden), House of Electronic Arts (HeK) in Basel (Switzerland) and LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón.

A CIM visit will take place on 17 February, to accompany a public seminar on air pollution visualisations. More information soon, stay tuned!

The Royal Academy of Arts webpage for this exhibition is here.

Fri 22 Nov 2019, 11:18 | Tags: front-page-2

Guest preface: Streams of consciousness: cognition and intelligent devices

A new paper from Dr Nathaniel Tkacz:

Link to paper

“What’s on your mind?”

These words, subtly greyed out in an input box on the user interface. Inviting users to write over them, replace them, respond. Pitched somewhere between an inquiring friend and a therapist, such is the gentle nudge fuelling content generation on the Facebook platform. What’s on your mind? Consider it a general declaration of the cognitive orientation of contemporary media. An underwhelming apotheosis when contrasted with the World Brains, augmented intellects or man–machine symbioses of days past...

Mon 09 Sep 2019, 09:43 | Tags: front-page-2

CIM Academics Noortje Marres and Michael Castelle are at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science

CIM Academics Noortje Marres and Michael Castelle are at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science  (4S) in New Orleans this week.

On September 5, Professor Marres will speak at the Conference's Opening Plenary on Innovations. The other speakers are Maria Belen Albornoz (FLASCO-Ecuador), Lesley Green (University of Cape Town), Shobita Parthasarathy (University of Michigan). In the words of 4S President Kim Fortun (UC Irvine), the Innovations Plenary addresses the following:

To innovate is to move beyond, out of line, skirting predictable directions and outcomes. This is far from straightforward -- imaginatively, analytically and logistically. To innovate means being outside usual frames, working counter-culturally, against intuition and usual method. In many settings, innovation is a matter of great urgency: lives and prosperity depend on it. All too easily, however, innovation serves and even exacerbates entrenched hierarchies of privilege, creating something new but sustaining old structures (of wealth, authority, and so on). Innovation is subject -- even prone -- to capture -- becoming a carrier rather than critique of capital and empire. Innovation can also become an empty ideal, cover for business as usual. Innovation is pursued and promised in industry, government, education and NGOS -- and in scholarly fields like STS. Scholars need and promise to innovate; indeed, their charge is to create “new knowledge.” Their scholarly organizations -- like 4S -- promise to scaffold and help sustain this, though what this looks like in theory and practice often receives little attention.

Thu 05 Sep 2019, 17:38 | Tags: front-page-2

New paper: Multi-Situated App Studies: Methods and Propositions

This article discusses methodological approaches to app studies, focusing on their embeddedness and situatedness within multiple infrastructural settings. Our approach involves close attention to the multivalent affordances of apps as software packages, particularly their capacity to enter into diverse groupings and relations depending on different infrastructural situations. The changing situations they evoke and participate in, accordingly, make apps visible and accountable in a variety of unique ways. Therefore, engaging with and even staging these situations allows for political-economic, social, and cultural dynamics associated with apps and their infrastructures to be investigated through a style of research we describe as multi-situated app studies. This article offers an overview of four different entry points of enquiry that are exemplary of this multi-situated approach, focusing on app stores, app interfaces, app packages, and app connections. We conclude with nine propositions that develop out of these studies as prompts for further research.

Fri 07 Jun 2019, 11:45 | Tags: front-page-2