Wed. 30.11.16. Threshold Devices – William Gaver et al.

12:00–13:00
T1005 iLab, ground floor South Building
Gaver, W., et al. 2008. Threshold Devices: Looking Out From The Home. In: CHI 2008 Proceedings – Domesticity and Design. Florence, Italy, 5-10 April 2008. New York: ACM. [online] Available at: <http://bit.ly/2gzz5rB> [Accessed 28 November 2016].

Abstract
Threshold devices present information gathered from the home’s surroundings to give new views on the domestic situation. We built two prototypes of different threshold devices and studied them in field trials with participant households. The Local Barometer displays online text and images related to the home’s locality depending on the local wind conditions to give an impression of the sociocultural surroundings. The Plane Tracker tracks aircraft passing overhead and imagines their flights onscreen to resource an understanding of the home’s global links. Our studies indicated that the experiences they provided were compelling, that participants could and did interpret the devices in various ways, that their form designs were appropriate for domestic environments, that using ready-made information contributed to the richness of the experiences, and that situating the information they provided with respect to the home and its locality was important for the ways people engaged with them.

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Wed.23.11.16. Policing the Spectrum – Manuel De Landa

12:00–13:00
T1005 iLab, ground floor South Building
De Landa, M., 1991. Policing the Spectrum. In: N.Spiller, ed. 2002. Cyber Reader. London: Phaidon Press [online] Available at: <http://elahi.umd.edu/readings/delanda.pdf> [Accessed 20 November 2016].

Extract
Beyond war games any situation involving a crisis at a national scale
(commodity shortages, transportation strikes, and of course, war
mobilization) needed the establishment of consensus by a vast number of
people distributed across the continent. The scientists who developed the
use of computers for such crisis-management operations, people like
Murray Turoff, later moved on to investigate new ways of extending these
ideas into the field of collective intelligence. Thus, research originally
intended to increase the amount of control over people (in a crisis)
became a tool for bringing control back to people.

Wed.09.11.16. A Genealogy of Hacking – Tim Jordan

12:00–13:00
T1005 iLab, ground floor South Building
Jordan, T., 2016. A genealogy of hacking, Convergence, 45:5, 424-430 [online] Available at: <http://con.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/04/04/1354856516640710.full#ref-14> [Accessed 03 November 2016].

Abstract
Hacking is now a widely discussed and known phenomenon, but remains difficult to define and empirically identify because it has come to refer to many different, sometimes incompatible, material practices. This article proposes genealogy as a framework for understanding hacking by briefly revisiting Foucault’s concept of genealogy and interpreting its perspectival stance through the feminist materialist concept of the situated observer. Using genealogy as a theoretical frame, a history of hacking will be proposed in four phases. The first phase is the ‘prehistory’ of hacking in which four core practices were developed. The second phase is the ‘golden age of cracking’ in which hacking becomes a self-conscious identity and community and is for many identified with breaking into computers, even while non-cracking practices such as free software mature. The third phase sees hacking divide into a number of new practices even while old practices continue, including the rise of serious cybercrime, hacktivism, the division of Open Source and Free Software and hacking as an ethic of business and work. The final phase sees broad consciousness of state-sponsored hacking, the re-rise of hardware hacking in maker labs and hack spaces and the diffusion of hacking into a broad ‘clever’ practice. In conclusion, it will be argued that hacking consists across all the practices surveyed of an interrogation of the rationality of information technocultures enacted by each hacker practice situating itself within a particular technoculture and then using that technoculture to change itself, both in changing potential actions that can be taken and changing the nature of the technoculture itself.

 

Wed.02.11.16. Where are the missing masses, sociology of a few mundane artifacts – Bruno Latour

12:00–13:00
T1005 iLab, ground floor South Building
Latour, B., (1992). Where are the missing masses, sociology of a few mundane artifacts. In: W. Bijker., and J. Law., ed. 1992. Shaping Technology/Building Society. Studies in Sociotechnical Change. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press. pp. 225-259

Extract
One of the most popular and powerful ways of resolving the technological determinism/social constructivism dichotomy in technology studies is the actor network approach. Those advocating the actor network approach agree with the social constructivist claim that sociotechnical systems are developed through negotiations between people, institutions, and organizations. But they make the additional interesting argument that artifacts are part of these negotiations as well. This is not to say that machines think like people do and decide how they will act, but their behavior or nature often has a comparable role. Actor network theorists argue that the material world pushes back on people because of its physical structure and design.

Wed.26.10.16. Reflections on Gender and Technology Studies: In What State is the Art? – Judy Wajcman

12:00–13:00
T1005 iLab, ground floor South Building
Wajcman, J., 2000. Reflections on Gender and Technology Studies: In What State is the Art? Social Studies of Science, Vol. 30, No. 3. (Jun., 2000), pp. 447-464 [online] Available at:<http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0306-3127%28200006%2930%3A3%3C447%3AROGATS%3E2.0.CO%3B2-%23> [Accessed 29 July 2016].

Abstract
This Comment reflects upon the relationship between gender and
technology, and how it has been theorized in recent decades. I argue that while
feminist approaches have had considerable influence on mainstream social studies of science and technology, tensions remain. I go on to explore the proliferation of feminist research which conceptualizes technology as culture. I suggest that the
contemporary focus on cultural representation and consumption, exciting and
productive as it is in many respects, has contributed to the neglect of design studies.
These are necessary to fully elucidate how gender relations figure in the construction
of technology.

 

Wed.19.10.16. Zombie Media – Garnet Hertz & Jussi Parikka

Wed. 19th October 2016
12:00–13:00
T1005 iLab, ground floor South Building
Hertz, G. & Parikka, J., 2012. Zombie Media: Circuit Bending Media Archaeology into an Art Method, Leonardo, 45:5, 424-430 [online] Available at: <http://mediaarchaeologylab.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Zombie-media.pdf> [Accessed 10 October 2016].

Abstract
This text is an investigation into media culture, temporalities of media objects and planned obsolescence in the midst of ecological crisis and electronic waste. The authors approach the topic under the umbrella of media archaeology and aim to extend this historiographically oriented field of media theory into a methodology for contemporary artistic practice. Hence, media archaeology becomes not only a method for excavation of repressed and forgotten media discourses, but extends itself into an artistic method close to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture, circuit bending, hardware hacking and other hacktivist exercises that are closely related to the political economy of information technology. The concept of dead media is discussed as “zombie media”—dead media revitalized, brought back to use, reworked.

Wed.12.10.16. Critical Making – Matt Ratto

Wed. 12th October 2016
12:00–13:00
T1005 iLab, ground floor South Building
Ratto, M., 2011. Critical Making: Conceptual and Material Studies in Technology and Social Life, The Information Society: An International Journal, 27:4, 252-260 [online] Available at:<http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01972243.2011.583819> [Accessed 29 July 2016].