Seminars and Experiment
- (22-23.8) Virality and Memeification: Affective Networks in the Dataverse (Mitsos Bilalis & Penelope Papailias)
- (24-25.8) Platform Capitalism (Athina Karatzogianni & Petros Petridis)
- (27-28.8) Algorithmic Sociality (Robert Seyfert & Sandra Robinson)
Details about the seminars and the readings will be forthcoming.
- Production and staging of a Serious Game (Petros Petridis & George Mantzios)
Regarding the seminars
The kind of issues around which our readings, conversations and seminars will be based are: What new kinds of identities and subjectivities are emerging in the context of responsive, non-essentialized forms of power: are these processes ushering in a ‘soft’ politics, a profiling subtly difficult to identify and counter? What new forms of surveillance, but also resistance, to these regimes are emerging (participatory surveillance, dataveillance, sousveillance, hackers & whistleblowers) given the hegemony of governmental and financial databases, as well as social media platforms in every sphere of social life? How is the human body - its movement and exchanges - mined and molded by data, from the quantified self movement of the ‘fit body’ (fitbit, smart watches, bestify, self-optimization) to the forensic archive of refugees and immigrant bodies (mobile, fugitive, dead). On the other hand, which bodies are not counted or undercounted in data science due to gender, race, class, age, geopolitical and other axes of social distinction and discrimination, producing an invisibility that hampers advocacy and activism around forms of structural violence or social abandonment? What new forms of value and labor extraction are developing in the context of platform capitalism (free labor, fan labor, AirBnb, Uber, Netflix) and through what means (gamification, affect capture)? How are the concept of culture and dominant forms of cultural expression (art, narrative) being transformed by the work of algorithms (that take over the cultural labor of hierarchizing, classification and ranking) and the ordering processes of databases (modularity, user-generated production, search, remix)? How are established conceptions of authorship, ownership, creativity, narrative and authenticity being challenged? How does a new politics of epistemology - the datalogical turn, as described by Patricia Clough - associated with the primacy of the quantitative, the fetish of the algorithm and big data undermine the credibility of witness and interpretation on which fields like anthropology have been based? How can we respond to the post-truth situation and the new modes of producing and circulating information (fake news, filter bubbles, echo chamber, bots, virality) without simply retreating to empiricism and hermeneutics? What are the strategic spaces and parasitical techniques of critique (digital commons, piracy, hactivism, data feminism, but also digital ethnography and experimental humanities) that might expose, defuse and interrupt the new data hegemony?
Regarding the methodological workshop/ experiment
Over the course of the lab, participants will participate in a methodologically-focused, experimental workshop dedicated to the making and multi-sited staging of a serious game related to this year's theme. This workshop will culminate in the staging of the experiment in a public event on the final day of the lab (August 30, 2019). Drawing inspiration from the open source movement, user listservs, music and video file sharing, social networking, and especially gaming subcultures, the workshop aims to be user-driven and in part user-designed. Considered as an experiment in problem-based research, the workshop aspires to involve participants as gamers whose embodied interactions within a gamespace generate real-time feedback that actively shapes the parameters of that space as a domain of collaborative knowledge production. Thus conceived through the idioms, interfaces, and pedagogical genres of online and offline gaming, this workshop will explore the implications of moving from content orientation to problem orientation in research design and knowledge production. Along these lines the working hypothesis of this prospective workshop is that collaborative laboratory-oriented research, centered around an open-ended, unpredictable and re-enactable public experiment, can interface theory and practice in and as the elaboration of an interactive gamespace.