Session 6: Updates Available?
Buy tickets

Sat 25 Feb

16:00 - 18:00

De Brakke Grond

20 / 17,50

We move on by continuously updating and upgrading. But moving on does not mean moving forward toward a better world. The effect, politics and functioning of any technological infrastructure do not just depend on the system itself, but also on its implementation or, for instance, the affordances of its context. Updates Available? focuses both on case studies of how the implementation of new technologies is enmeshed with the transformation of politics and forms of democracy, as well as on a philosophical negotiation of moving ‘forward’ into the future, and postcontemporary fear. Are we even moving in time, or is the future coming towards us? Noortje Marres The Democracy Test: Street Trials as Experiments in Interpretation We have become increasingly aware of the fact that everyday environments, such as the street or the home, are sites of technological innovation that are in need of our engagement. However, efforts to deploy digital devices to envision material forms of participation have introduced us to threats to democracy in the form of surveillance, third-party data ownership and asymmetric value extraction. Can we envision forms of material participation that pass the democracy test? Noortje Marres discusses how this challenge has been taken on in street trials of ‘intelligent’ vehicles, and examines whether and how these initiatives open up different answers to the question ‘what counts as democracy?’ Jennifer Gabrys Sensing Environments, Inventing Citizens Citizen sensing practices that monitor and measure environmental problems, such as air pollution, are emerging everywhere. They generate data used for action against policy and regulation. Does the rise of citizen sensing practices and technologies re-inscribe instrumental, potentially reductive approaches to citizenship and political engagement? Or, do the of instruments, like low-cost environmental sensors, challenge this apparently linear logic through attempting to realise political change? How effective are these practices of citizen sensing not just in providing crowd-sourced data sets, but also in giving rise to new modes of environmental awareness and practice? Wendy Chun Crisis + Habit = Update ‘New media — we are told — exist at the bleeding edge of obsolescence. We thus forever try to catch up, updating to remain the same. [...] But what do we miss in this constant push to the future? [...] Wendy Hui Kyong Chun suggests another approach, arguing that our media matter most when they seem not to matter at all — when they have moved from “new" to habitual. Through habits, Chun says, new media become embedded in our lives — indeed, we become our machines: we stream, update, capture, upload, link, save, trash, and troll.’ (Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong. Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media. MIT Press, 2016.) Armen Avanessian Postcontemporary Angst and Fear The 21st century marks a new dimension of time itself. That the direction of time has changed is indicated by the prominence of various phenomena of preemption such as preemptive strikes, preemptive personalities, and preemptive policing. The media are increasingly occupied not with what happened or what is happening, but what could happen (premediation). This is a helpless symptom characterised by a general loss of a real, open future and present: we have lost the future as a political object. Avanessian argues that the systematic production of fear within neoliberal politics is symptomatic of the failure to grasp the speculative temporality arriving from the future. Instead of addressing our angst facing this new post-contemporary time-complex we stick to the increasingly regressive invention of feared objects.
This site uses cookies.