Computing is Work!

Computing is Work! posterWe humans spend most of our waking lives working. Work includes cultural, intellectual, managerial, and emotional labor as well as physical toil. Despite this, most work by humanities and media scholars implicitly treats the study of work as marginal or uninteresting. Even the study of “digital practices” rarely engages with the specifics of the workplace, despite the importance of distributed micro-practices like clickworking. Information technology underpins the transformation of work today, as it has it in the past.

We welcome interdisciplinary contributions that address computing as work practice, both on a local, situated, infrastructural level. Speakers will be exploring many kinds of work, from the work of computerized literary production to the work of scientific research.We believe that close attention to the social processes of work has the cross-cutting potential to integrate a variety of historical, social and ethnographic research approaches, from labor history to the scientific ethnography to the study of media practices as cooperative accomplishments, into a revealing whole.

Computing is Work!
International Conference

July 6–8, 2017

Universität Siegen, Artur-Woll-Haus
Am Eichenhang 50, 57076 Siegen;
Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen

Conveners: Thomas Haigh / Sebastian Giessmann
Keynotes: Matthew Jones, Kjeld Schmidt, Fred Turner, Matthew Kirschenbaum

Program: http://www.socialstudiesof.info/ComputingIsWork.

Supported by the Siegen University iSchool, the Collaborative Research Centre “Media of Cooperation”, Siegen and the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research North Rhine-Westphalia.

„A philosophy of weaving the web“ – NECSUS Interview with Geert Lovink [reblog]

by Geert Lovink
[originally published in the Spring 2016 edition of NECSUS, „Small Data“
Creative Commons license: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0]

Unlike predictions, ‘networks’ are on their way out. The reason for this is the unprecedented concentration of money, power, and infrastructures in the hands of a few monopoly players. Instead of ‘social networks’ we speak of ‘social media’, and that is no coincidence. In fact, ‘network theory’ has followed this trend for some time and has been in relative decline for longer than we might be aware. We can consider the 1990s the golden period of network theory, dominated by a scientific-mathematical method (Barabasi, Watts) and also a social science approach (Castells). Since the crisis of the rhizomatic and productivist Deleuze and the subsequent rise of ‘dark Deleuze’ (Culp), the question has become: why connect, if machines will connect us regardless?

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Fluctuating Networks, Un/stable Platforms, and the Internet of Things

So here is what I wrote as an abstract for a talk on April 14, 2015. It was hosted by the fabulous Digital Cultures Research Lab and took place at the Stadtarchiv of Lüneburg.

My talk is go­ing to pre­sent some preli­mi­na­ry thoughts on the no­ti­on of “boun­da­ry ob­jects” in di­gi­tal in­fra­struc­tu­res. I am going to reconsider the relation “networks” and “platforms” from a network historical and STS point of view. The “Internet of Things” is actually fairly old, if confronted with earlier special purpose digital networks. But how may we speculate already on its remediating qualities in terms of new objecthood, networked agencies, and platform regulations?

I always wanted to refurbish the slides which I had written with the LaTeX beamer class for a change. But now we have got  the audiovisual documentary – splendid. Huge thanks to all the great people at DCRL! (And I still have to rework the slides at some point).

DCRLecture: Sebastian Gießmann – Fluctuating Networks, Un/stable Platforms, And the Internet of Things from Centre for Digital Cultures on Vimeo.