HKW Speaking to Racial Conditions Today [video]

racist facial recognition

This video of a panel session at HKW entitled “Speaking to Racial Conditions Today” is well-worth watching.

Follow this link (the video is not available for embedding here).

Inputs, discussions, Mar 15, 2018. With Zimitri Erasmus, Maya Indira Ganesh, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, David Theo Goldberg, Serhat Karakayali, Shahram Khosravi, Françoise Vergès
English original version

Reblog> session on feminist digital geographies at AAG conference April 2019

Women Who Code

Via Gillian Rose. If you’re going to the AAG – this session is sure to be a good one.

Session on feminist digital geographies at AAG conference April 2019

This is a call for papers for a session at the next conference of the American Association of Geographers annual meeting in Washington DC 3-7 April next year on feminist digital geographies, organised by Agnieszka Leszczynski (Western University) and me. It’s sponsored by both the Digital Geographies and the Geographic Perspectives on Women Speciality Groups of the AAG.

In the context of a flurry of activities coalescing around digital geographies, we invite papers that consider the “enduring contours and new directions” of feminist theory, politics, and praxis for geographies concerned with the digital (Elwood and Leszczynski, 2018). We broadly welcome interventions that proceed from, utilize, and advance feminist epistemologies, methodologies, theory, critical practice, and activism.

We are open to submissions offering empirical, theoretical, critical, and methodological contributions across a range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • big data
  • digitally-mediated cities
  • artificial intelligence and algorithms
  • social media
  • feminist/digital/spatial theory
  • progressive alternatives and activism
  • feminist histories and genealogies

Please submit abstracts of no more than 200 words by October 15thto aleszczy@uwo.ca and gillian.rose@ouce.ox.ac.uk. Please include a title, your name, affiliation and email address in the abstract. We will respond to authors with confirmation by November 1st.

Reference:

Elwood S and Leszczynski A (2018) Feminist digital geographies. Gender, Place & Culture25(5): 629-644.

Reblog> Lecture by Stelarc and discussion in DesignLab, U. Twente

Peter Paul Verbeek blogged this, looks good! >>

Lecture by Stelarc and discussion in DesignLab

Thursday 24th of May from 4-7 pm

Location: DesignLab Universiteit Twente

The Australian performance artist Stelarc has visually probed and acoustically amplified his body and is well known for his pioneering work and ideas about extending the capabilities of the human body with technology. From 17th of May until 19th of August, Tetem is presenting the exhibition StickMan by Stelarc. During his stay in Enschede, Stelarc will give an extensive lecture in DesignLab about his pioneering performances and installations – for which he uses prosthetics, robotics, medical instruments, suspension, VR, biotechnology and internet to investigate the psychological and physical limitations of the body.

The event will be introduced by Frank Kresin (managing director of DesignLab). After Stelarc’s lecture, there will be a discussion with Stelarc, Herman van der Kooij (professor in Biomechatronics and Rehabilitation Technology and director of Wearable Robotics Lab) and Peter-Paul Verbeek (professor of Philosophy of Technology and co-director of DesignLab). During the discussion, led by moderator Wilja Jurg (director Tetem), we will explore the scientific, social and ethical implications of wearable robotics.

This event is organized in collaboration with DesignLab as part of StickMan exhibition in Tetem. DesignLab is a creative and cross-disciplinary ecosystem at the University of Twente, connecting science and society through design: https://www.utwente.nl/en/designlab/.

Short description about StickMan:

The StickMan is a minimal but full-body exoskeleton, that algorithmically actuates the artist with six degrees-of-freedom. 64 possible combinations of gestures are generated. Sensors on StickMan generate sounds that augment the pneumatic noise and register the limb movements. A ring of speakers circulates the sounds, immersing the audience in an acoustic landscape as an extension of StickMan’s body.

The StickMan is an anthropomorphized, programmable motion and sound machine which functions with not only the body connected, but also as an installation by itself. A smaller replica of StickMan enables visitors to record and play their choreography by bending the limbs into a sequence of positions, which also inadvertently composes the sounds generated.

StickMan is shown for the first time in Europe. The smaller replica of StickMan was made especially for the exhibition in Tetem.

For more information and events visit:

http://www.tetem.nl/portfolio/stickman/

Reblog> Should robots be granted the status of legal personhood?

Twiki the robot from Buck Rogers

From John Danaher’s Philosophical Disquisitions.

Danaher offers his incisive analysis of recent additions to the debate on legal personhood re. “robots”. Seems interesting (to me) in relation to two things: agency, and how we imagine automation – since we don’t actually have such ‘robots’ at the moment. It’s quite a long post (so only a snippet below), but worth working through… not least because in geographyland it seems to me many of us have a very narrow understanding of these sorts of things from a fairly narrow (simplified) post-structuralist account of ‘subjectivity‘.

Should robots be granted the status of legal personhood?

The EU parliament attracted a good deal of notoriety in 2016 when its draft report on civil liability for robots suggested that at least some sophisticated robots should be granted the legal status of ‘electronic personhood’. British tabloids were quick to seize upon the idea — the report came out just before the Brexit vote — as part of their campaign to highlight the absurdity of the EU. But is the idea really that absurd? Could robots ever count as legal persons?

A recent article by Bryson, Diamantis and Grant (hereinafter ‘BDG’) takes up these questions. In ‘Of, for and by the people: the legal lacuna or synthetic persons’, they argue that the idea of electronic legal personhood is not at all absurd. It is a real but dangerous possibility — one that we should actively resist. Robots can, but should not, be given the legal status of personhood.

BDG’s article is the best thing I have read on the topic of legal personhood for robots. I believe it presents exactly the right framework for thinking about and understanding the debate. But I also think it is misleading on a couple of critical points. In what follows, I will set out BDG’s framework, explain their central argument, and present my own criticisms thereof.

Read the full blogpost.

Reblog> “How to get rid of your academic fake-self?”

A person removing a mask

Via Nicolas Nova on Twitter.

This from David Berliner is interesting. The original was perhaps a little combative in tone so I’ve adapted it a little [inside square brackets]…

  • Substitute a politics of competition with an ethics of care (for yourself and others). Science is about collaborative knowledge and not a massacre.
  • Acknowledge that you haven’t read everything and that you cannot debate all topics. Learn to say “I don’t really know anything about [theorist]. Maybe, one day, I will read [her/him, but not at the moment]”.
  • [If you’re not able to research, exhausted, between jobs or any of the other many other reasons we sometimes cannot do research then t]rain yourself to say publicly: “I am not researching anything new at the moment, [I am not actively] writing” (“I am teaching and that already takes a considerable amount of time”).
  • When a colleague asks you “what are you working on?”, [don’t make things up but maybe find ways of being honest, such as:] “I don’t know. [I’ve been focussing on other parts of my life] [a]nd I have nothing to publish right now”.
  • Always have a BIG (critical) laugh at metrics and other tricks of [competitive] evaluation (that will painfully reopen your narcissistic wounds).
  • Try to avoid – as much as possible – toxic colleagues who never ask you how you are, but [focus on lauding] their [own] academic achievements [or attempt to instruct you what you should be doing].
  • [Find allies with whom you can laugh, talk things through and commiserate].

If it doesn’t work, double the dose and try again.

Original post.

Reblog> No dogs, no Indians: 70 years after partition, the legacy of British colonialism endures

Stamp commemorating Indian independence

I found this piece on The Conversation, with reference to the play No dogs, no Indians by Siddhartha Bose (see the video below), by Gajendra Singh, a colleague at Exeter, an interesting and helpful intervention into the partition stories the Beeb is currently running. Definitely worth a read.

No dogs, no Indians: 70 years after partition, the legacy of British colonialism endures

The 70th anniversary of the end of Britain’s Empire in India and the birth of the post-colonial states of India and Pakistan have led to a renewed interest in the portrayal of this distant and under-explored past in British arts and the media.

It does not always make for good history. In the stories told on film, radio and television – from the film Viceroy’s House, to BBC One’s My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 and Radio 4’s Partition Voices – complexity and context are downplayed in favour of “British” stories of colonialism, anti-colonial movements and partition violence.

Something of an antidote to this was offered by Siddhartha Bose, the London-dwelling, Bombay-raised Bengali poet and playwright, in an evening of readings, performance and discussion as part of the Edinburgh Book Festival‘s own commemoration of the 70th anniversary of partition.

Bose is not a historian and does not pretend to be one, but the evening made for more interesting and innovative public history than that of efforts elsewhere. The event entitled No Dogs, No Indians: A Legacy that Lingers Long, after Bose’s recently published play, attempted to take the audience on a journey into the emotional worlds of urban life in colonial and post-colonial India.

Read the full article.